Tshegofatso Pule: Two families affected by the tragedy have not met - and are 'not ready for talks'

Tshegofatso Pule, 28, who was found stabbed and hanged in a veld. She was eight months pregnant.
@Keba99, Twitter
  • Tshegofatso Pule and Ntuthuko Shoba's families have not met since the former was murdered in 2020.
  • At the time of her murder, Pule was carrying Shoba's child.
  • He is accused of being the mastermind behind her killing.

Nearly two years after the murder of 28-year-old beautician, Tshegofatso Pule, and her unborn child, allegedly at the behest of her boyfriend, Ntuthuko Shoba, the two families affected by the tragedy are yet to meet.

"We are talking about [people] who were also expecting a grandchild. My belief is that if they wanted to reach out to the family, they could have done that a long time ago. There were many opportunities that presented themselves to do that," Pule's uncle, Tumisang Katake, told News24.

Pule, 28, was brutally murdered on 4 June 2020.

Her pregnant, lifeless body was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep, Roodepoort.

It sent shockwaves through the country, especially considering the "shadow pandemic" gripping the country: gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

Muzikayise Malephane was arrested for the murder.

He entered into a plea deal with the State, during which he implicated Shoba in the murder.

Malephane alleged that Shoba plotted the killing, and he was just carrying out orders.

He was slapped with a 20-year sentence. 

Shoba was arrested in February 2021 for allegedly plotting Pule's murder.

He has been in custody ever since, following three failed attempts at securing bail.

Malephane turned State witness in the trial.

Shoba faces one count of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, and one count of defeating the ends of justice.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

READ | Tshegofatso Pule: Killer says he is rendered 'powerless' by alleged mastermind's 'lies'

The Shoba and Pule families religiously attend the trial.

However, both families do not interact or engage with each other in court.

The reserved Shoba family and the aggrieved Pule family maintain basic pleasantries in the public gallery, despite the tragedy.

While Shoba testified that he maintained his distance from Pule's funeral, due to alleged threats and a "disinvite" to the funeral, Pule's family was of the view that this was not a strong enough defence.

"They could rely on this claim that one of the family members, who we do not know, called Shoba and allegedly threatened him. I don't think that is strong enough for them to just sit," Katake said.

ALSO READ | The Shoba family has not reached out, not even in court corridors, Tshegofatso Pule's family says

Katake told News24 that he could not imagine any peace talks between the two families at this stage.

"Despite the circumstances of the relationship between Shoba and Pule, they should have reached out. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you look at it from that point to try and imagine any talks of peacemaking. We are not ruling it out, but our family is not ready for such talks," he said.

The Shoba family has previously indicated to the media that they will not be commenting at this stage.

An additional query was sent to the Shoba family on Monday.

Comment will be added if it is received.

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