The family of slain Johannesburg woman Tshegofatso Pule is now gearing up for another difficult period, as the alleged mastermind behind her brutal murder is set to go to trial.

Nthutuko Shoba appeared before the Roodeport Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 5 March 2021, where he was denied bail. Pule’s uncle, Tumisang Katake said as a family, they welcome the presiding judge’s decision.

“As a family we are relieved, we cannot say we are excited…Another milestone has been achieved. I’m sure Tshegofatso, where she is laying, she is still continuing to fight her battles. We are relieved that the court did not grant him bail. We are now preparing for the next step, which is to attend the trial,” Katake said.

Tshegofatso Pule was murdered in June 2020. The heavily-pregnant woman’s body was discovered hanging from a tree in Roodepoort. Shoba’s bail dismissal comes two weeks after 31-year-old Muzikayise Malephane pleaded guilty to her killing and subsequently entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State.

Tshegofatso Pule wants ‘more justice’ for her killing

Tshegofatso Pule’s uncle Tumisang Katake has further said that as a family, they want the book to be thrown at Nthutuko Shoba – the man who allegedly paid for the 29-year-old to be murdered.

“It’s a bit of all those negative emotions that the family is going through. More than anything, the family will seek more justice to happen, especially against Mr Shoba,” he said.

He has reiterated that Pule was killed by the very person who was meant to protect her.

Muzikayise Malephane revealed that Shoba had offered him as much as R70 000 to murder Pule. It is believed that Shoba had wanted to hide her pregnancy from his wife.

News of her senseless killing sent shockwaves across the country and once again placed focus on the alarming femicide rates.

Arguing for bail, Shoba had claimed to have received threats from Malephane and felt he was not safe at behind bars.

“The applicant did not reply to the allegation by the State that there are other independent witnesses apart from the cellphone records and the video footage and the testimony of the convicted accused at this stage. Therefore the court finds that the statement of the applicant is not sufficient to show that there are exceptional circumstances why it would be in the interest that he is released on bail and bail is refused,” Magistrate Delize Smith said as she handed down the ruling.

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Presh JM Reporter

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