Following revealed cases that led to the death of the 22-year-old, Susan Shabangu, SA women minister in the presidency said the 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena was killed because she was weak.
Minister Susan Shabangu said this on Tuesday during an investigative current affairs programme Checkpoint.
She said while Late Karabo appeared as strong as her beauty, she was weak internally and this made her a victim of her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe’s abuse.
“She was weak and hence she became a victim of abuse. As she tried to deal with her situation in sharing it with other abused women, she ended up being a victim of abuse,” said Susan Shabangu.
Shabangu’s shocking comment about the deceased echoed Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini who spoke about various areas she perceives young South African girls are weak.
“Our children are growing up in a different time than we did. They love money. Our children are materialistic. Our children can’t see when they are being abused psychologically, emotionally,” Dlamini said in her speech at Mokoena’s funeral on Friday,
“Once someone abuses you emotionally, they break you. You are finished. It lowers your confidence,” Dlamini said.
These comments at the time Karabo’s mother narrated several incidences of abuse her daughter reported to her before death.
Speaking for the very first time after the death of her daughter, Lolo, said she had tried severally to convince her daughter to leave her brutal boyfriend but failed.
She told eNCA’s CheckPoint that when Karabo’s boyfriend, Sandile Matsoe, beat her up for the first time, she wanted to confront him about it but her daughter stopped her saying it’s okay.
“Karabo said to me: ‘No, Mama, this guy is crazy.’
“‘Just leave him, it’s okay,’” she said
At the time Karabo came home with a swollen forehead her mother moved to ask Matsoe what right he had to touch her daughter but was always stopped by her daughter who kept telling her “It is well, Mom.”
In another episode of abuse, Lolo said she was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter had been admitted to Morningside Hospital.
She said she cried, and asked Karabo why she was still in a relationship with Mantsoe. When she went to visit her, Karabo told her Mantsoe had dropped her off at the hospital and left her with a card. At the time, he also bought a new phone to replace the one he had broken.
This when Lolo again urged her daughter to leave her boyfriend, warning that he would one day kill her.
“I told her and said: ‘Karabo, Sandile is going to kill you, you can’t go on like this. This is not a toxic relationship; I don’t know what to call this.’”
Lolo said she then urged Karabo to press charges against Mantsoe, which she did, after hesitating, saying Mantsoe was just “evil”.
Weeks later, Karabo was reported missing and this was when Lolo finally met Manstoe whom she asked about her daughter’s whereabout.
“I approached him and said: ‘Sandile, what did you do to Karabo?’ And he greeted me and said: ‘Mamzo,’ and I said: ‘Why are you still saying Mamzo? Where’s my daughter? Did you kill Karabo?’
Mantsoe has since been arrested and appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate court.The case against him has been postponed to May 24 for a formal bail application.
The State said it would oppose bail for 27-year-old Mantsoe, who was charged with killing the 22-year-old part-time student and defeating the ends of justice.
Mokoena’s death, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe, sparked outrage on social media recently with the hashtag #MenAreTrash causing debate.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula urges women and young girls with cases of violent attack to approach any of the stations to lay complaint as he vows to ensure that women reporting rape and abuse are dealt with in a sensitive manner.
Several women have come forward, saying they receive inadequate or no assistance from police when trying to report abuse.
Like minister Susan Shabangu and Dlamini, Mbalula is encouraging women to open cases, and not to withdraw charges against their alleged aggressors.
He will be meeting with police commanders to set up specialised units.