The gruesome murder of Tshegofatso Pule in early June 2020 rocked the nation and made international headlines. The beautician's lifeless body was discovered hanging from a tree in Roodepoort. She was eight months pregnant. Her then-boyfriend Ntuthuko Shoba was singled out as the mastermind behind the murder after the hitman he hired testified against him. Shoba's trial began on 24th January 2022.
Shoba pleaded not guilty to being involved in the killing of the beautician, although witness accounts place him at the scene. Malephane, who took a guilty plea in January 2021 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder, gave a heartbreaking account of how Shoba planned the crime.
Tshegofatso Pule's story
Pule was a 28-year-old beautician from Meadowlands, Soweto, who was found dead in early June 2020. The lifeless body of Tshegofatso Pule was hanging from a tree in a veld in Roodepoort and had several stab wounds on her left breast.
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The lady was having an affair with JSE analyst Ntuthuko Shoba who was in a romantic relationship with another woman. Shoba hid the relationship from his family and fiancé. The beautician was eight months pregnant with the man's child at the time of her murder. He acknowledged being in a love triangle after Pule was reported missing.
The slain woman was last seen on 4th June 2020, leaving her home in Meadowlands, Soweto, to her boyfriend's place in Florida. Tshegofatso Pule's video footage taken outside Shoba's residence showed her boarding a grey jeep.
Pule's body was found four days later, on 8th June 2020, in Florida Lake, Roodepoort, by a passer-by who called the police. Her murder sparked nationwide outrage as the people lamented the increasing cases of gender-based violence.
Tshegofatso Pule's funeral
The slain beautician was buried on 11th June 2020 at her home in Soweto. The emotional funeral was attended by top government officials and political leaders who criticized GBV crimes. During President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Youth Day in 2020, he said the government would increase sexual offenses courts.
Tshegofatso Pule's latest news
Muzikayise Malephane was arrested and charged with Tshegofatso Pule's murder. He testified before the Johannesburg High Court in January 2022, saying there were several attempts by Ntuthuko Shoba to murder the beautician. Shoba, her then-lover, allegedly did not want it to be known that he had impregnated another woman.
Malephane took a guilty plea in January 2021, where he admitted to killing Pule after being offered R70,000 by Shoba. He became a state witness and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Muzikayise Malephane's testimony
Malephane told the Johannesburg High Court that he knew Shoba from high school. He revealed the chilling plan that Shoba had to kill his lover. Malephane said he was first contracted by Shoba in May 2020 to kill Pule after trying to lure her to a fake interview at McDonald's near Gold Reef City. The beautician did not show up for the interview.
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Shoba later reached out to him and explained how he wanted Pule to be hanged on a Maraisberg bridge. He was then to write a suicide note using Pule's phone and post it on WhatsApp. However, their plan was not going to work after Malephane discovered the bridge was a busy place.
He did not explain how he later picked the 28-year-old expectant beautician from Shoba's place. He is also yet to elaborate on how the gruesome murder was committed. Pule's cousin, Palesa Senokoane, also testified against Shoba, saying he was the last person Pule made contact with before she went missing.
Ntuthuko Shoba's trial
According to Muzikaye Malephane's testimony, Shoba is the mastermind in Tshegofatso Pule's murder. He was arrested in January 2021 and charged with one count of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, and a count of defeating the ends of justice.
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Who is Ntuthuko Shoba?
The alleged Tshegofatso Pule's lover, whose full name is Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba, was born in Lenasia, Johannesburg. Ntuthuko Shoba's age is 33 years in 2022, although his exact date of birth is unknown. He holds a diploma in IT and was working as a JSE analyst.
The alleged Ntuthuko Shoba's wife's name is Rosetta Moatshe. He has no children yet, and the baby Pule was carrying would have been his first child. It is unclear if Rosetta knew about Pule before her murder and whether she was involved.
South Africa is among the top countries in the world where it is unsafe to be a woman. Gender-based crimes such as rape, abuse, and in worst-case scenarios, death have placed the country on the global map.
Tshegofatso Pule's murder still reminds citizens of the rot in society and the need for men to be educated on how to care for women like their mothers, daughters, or sisters. Hopefully, justice for Pule will be attained even though it will not be enough to heal the scars of those affected by her demise.
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Briefly.co.za published the story of Erica Jenkins, a convicted American murderer currently serving life in prison. She was found guilty of participating in the killing of Curtis Bradford in Nebraska Omaha alongside her brother Nikko Jenkins.
The Jenkins family has a long history of criminal activity. Erica's brother Nikko is currently on death row for the four murders he committed in August 2014. He went on a killing spree just after being released from prison for a crime he committed as a teenager. Her late father, mother, sister, cousin, and uncle are also convicted felons.
Source: Briefly News