A Johannesburg magistrate has issued a gag order preventing media from reporting on the details of evidence in the bail application of Sandile Mantsoe, who allegedly recently killed his girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena.
Shocking details in the state’s founding affidavit and that of Mantsoe will only be revealed after Magistrate Carlo Labuschagne rules on the bail application next month.
Labuschagne granted the prosecution’s application for details in the affidavits to be kept secret for the time being. National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw said revealing the “sensitive information” in the investigating officer’s affidavit might jeopardise the case against Mantsoe.
“We are only at the bail application stage and, as the state, we have concerns about sensitive information that will be revealed in court that directly impacts on the progress and nature of the investigations that must still be conducted,” Louw said.
Mantsoe, 27, who appeared for the second time in court yesterday, was asked several questions which the media has been barred from reporting on.
He was arrested earlier this month for allegedly killing his 22-year-old girlfriend before dumping and burning her body in a field near Lyndhurst in Johannesburg.
Several men and women believed to be friends of the Sandton-based forex trader attended the proceedings. Outside, scores of picketers were calling for bail to be denied.
Among them were gender activists carrying posters bearing the slogan #MenAreTrash, community members from Diepkloof, where Mokoena lived, and political parties Agang SA and the Democratic Alliance.
Although hard-pressed to provide examples, Louw insisted it was not the first time a magistrate had made such a decision.
“It’s not something out of the ordinary. As much as we respect the media’s role to inform the public, we should also guard against it tampering with the strength of the State’s case.”
The case was postponed to June 9.