- Tshegofatso Pule's killer revealed in court that he had tried to kill Pule before.
- Muzikayise Malephane said the plan was to lure Pule to a restaurant under the guise of a job interview.
- However, the plan went awry when Pule did not show up.
The man convicted of killing Tshegofatso Pule maintains that he did not know the deceased, and was merely "following instructions" from the alleged mastermind, Ntuthuko Shoba.
Shoba's trial continued on Thursday with the cross-examination of Muzikayise Malephane on the details surrounding the alleged first attempt on Pule's life on 29 May 2020, a week before her death.
The court previously heard that Pule was almost lured to a McDonald's in Johannesburg South under the guise that she would be interviewing for a job.
Thereafter Malephane would pick her up.
Pule, however, never turned up for the interview, and therefore foiled the alleged plot.
Malephane previously testified that "Shoba told me that a girl arranged an interview for Pule. He did not give me details of the girl. I was supposed to pick up Pule after the interview".
READ | Tshegofatso Pule murder trial: Alleged mastermind wanted Pule to be hanged from Maraisburg Bridge
Malephane testified that he was instructed to wait for Pule inside a silver grey Jeep to pick her up following her interview at McDonald's.
He added that Shoba allegedly gave him Pule's telephone number so he could call her when the interview had concluded.
Shoba's advocate, Norman Makhubela, however, probed Malephane on that aspect of his testimony. He questioned the veracity of Malephane's version by asking why Shoba would give Malephane Pule's number.
"The reason was for me to call her, inform her that there is a certain car waiting for her and that it is coming to her," said Malephane.
Makhubela then said Shoba would deny that he ever gave Malephane Pule's number.
"That's a lie that Shoba did not give me Pule's number. Where would I get her number because I do not know her," he testified.
Makhubela pressed Malephane to explain why he would know who to pick up from McDonald's as he didn't know Pule.
"Shoba had planned that Pule was coming to the car. I do not know Pule. I would not leave to my house to go and stand at McDonald's for nothing," he said.
Pule was murdered on 4 June 2020. Malephane testified that he shot Pule and then hanged her from a tree in Durban Deep, Roodepoort.
At the time of her disappearance, her family told media that the 28-year-old beautician had gone to visit Shoba - who they described as her boyfriend - because they would buy clothes for the child.
Shoba was implicated in Pule's murder after the State secured a guilty plea from Malephane in last January.
Shoba faces one count of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, and of defeating the ends of justice.
The trial continues.
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