A 32-year-old married man has been accused of plotting the death of pregnant lover Tshegofatso Pule in Johanesburg, South Africa, in June 2020
The victim’s boyfriend made his first appearance in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on Monday, in connection with her killing
Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba, 32, who was Pule’s boyfriend at the time of her death, has been accused of buying the ‘hit’ to prevent his wife knowing about Pule’s preganancy
He’s facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the end of justice
Pule was eight months pregnant when she was murdered and the killer testified that he was contracted for the hit by her lover
At his sentencing on Friday, Muzikayise Malephae told the court that he killed Pule after Shoba, who didn’t want his wife to discover his lover’s pregnancy, paid him 70,000 South African Rands
The case involving the alleged master mind behind Tshegofatso Pule’s murder has been postponed to the 1st of March. Ntuthuko Shoba made a brief appearance before the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on Monday.
The man believed to have orchestrated the killing of Tshegofatso Pule has finally appeared in the Roodepoort magistrate’s court.
Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba, 32, who was Pule’s boyfriend at the time of her death, appeared for the first time in court facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the end of justice.
As he emerged in the dock, some of the people in the public gallery could not hold their emotions and hurled insults at him. Dressed in an all-black suit, Shoba looked calm as photographers took turns taking pictures and videos of him.
Shoba was arrested on Thursday, a day before Muzikayise Malephane was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for his role in Pule’s murder.
Her body was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in a veld in Roodepoort on June 5. She was eight months pregnant when she was murdered. She had last been seen on June 4, after leaving her home in Soweto to visit her boyfriend.
Malephane was arrested while returning from Mpumalanga on June 15.
During his trial, Malephane entered into a plea bargain to turn state witness against Shoba. Malephane confessed that Shoba allegedly hired him to murder Pule to hide her pregnancy from his wife. He claimed that he was promised $4,775 [R70,000], for the murder.
Shoba’s case was postponed to March 1 for bail application.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the state would not divulge details of their case at the moment. “It is still early days. What we want to concentrate on as the state now is preparing to oppose his bail application. It is only after the bail application that we will prepare to go to trial,” Mjonondwane.
Pule’s gruesome murder shocked the nation and activists against gender-based violence said it was indication that the country’s efforts to end violence against women and children were not having the desired effect. When Tshegofatso Pule’s killer, Muzikayise Malephane who was arrested eight months ago, appeared in court last week for his sentencing, he stunned the court stating that: ‘Someone she knew wanted Tshegofatso Pule dead’.
The defendant who admitted that he killed Tshegofatso Pule, has allegedly revealed to police details the plot and the execution of her murder.
Midway through his trial at the Roodepoort magistrate’s court, facing charges of premeditated murder, Malephanee who had abandoned a bail application, ultimately he pled guilty to murder and in exchange will be the prosecution’s star witness against Shoba.
Malephane whose list of priors include charges for attempted murder, burglary and possession of a suspected stolen vehicle was arrested in November 2012, for attempted murder, which involved a firearm, but this case too was also withdrawn. Curiously iIn the same year, he was also arrested for attempted burglary but his case was later withdrawn. The admitted killer lived hi other by hiding in public glare, enough to fool neighbors and those who knew him.
In 2007, he was arrested for pointing “something that is likely to lead a person to believe if (sic) a firearm”. That case was withdrawn.
In his neighbourhood where he grew up nicknamed “Cheese Boy”, Malephane’s friends and neighbours insisted he could not harm anyone.
“He likes people and he is the kind of guy that did not hold grudges,” said one neighbour. Another neighbour said Malephane was not “desperate for cash to kill someone for money”.
“He could have asked for the money from his mom and she could have given him the R70,000 and even more if he wanted more.
“It is baffling that a guy like him could be promised money and then commit such a crime,” the neighbour said.
As part of his plea bargain, Malephane at sentencing, confessed to killing Pule. The murder he said, was planned together with a man that Pule knew, Shoba, who allegedly paid him R70,000 for the ‘hit’.
The case was postponed to March 1 for a formal bail application.