On Friday the South Gauteng High Court sentenced Muzikayise Malephane, accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule last year, to an effective 20 years in prison. Malephane also entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State.
During June last year 28-year-old Pule, who was eight months pregnant at the time, was found hanging in a tree in Roodepoort with visible stab wounds after she had been missing for four days.
Malephane faced charges of murder, defeating the ends of justice and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
During court proceedings, Malephane named Pule’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba, as the person who hired him to kill Tshegofatso.
“Malephane implicated Shoba as the “contractor” for Pule’s murder and detailed that Shoba offered him R70 000 to carry out the murder. He further explained that Shoba had wanted Pule dead as she was pregnant with his child and he did not want his wife to find out about the pregnancy. The initial plan, according to Malephane was to hang Pule from a bridge in Maraisburg and take her phone to write a suicide message on her WhatsApp status,” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says.
On 4 June 2020, Shoba had told Malephane that Tshegofatso would be visiting him and would let him know when to fetch her.
“After receiving the call from Shoba, he collected Pule and drove to Noordgesig where he shot Pule and drove to Durban Deep in Roodepoort, to hang her on a tree. Pule’s lifeless body was discovered on 08 June 2020 and Malephane was arrested on 15 June 2020,” regional spokesperson for the NPA, Phindi Mjonondwane, says.
A plea and sentence agreement was entered into on the condition that Malephane will be a state witness and agree to testify against Shoba.
“Malephane detailed that the first attempt on Pule’s life failed after she never pitched up for a job interview at a restaurant next to Goldreef City, where Shoba had arranged for him (Malephane) to pick her up,” the NPA says.
The NPA confirmed that Shoba was arrested and appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on this morning. Shoba faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Shoba was remanded in custody and is expected back in court for a formal bail hearing on 1 March this year.