Tshegofatso Pule murder: Alleged mastermind fears for his safety, court pauses prison transfer

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Ntuthuko Shoba appears at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
Ntuthuko Shoba appears at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
  • The transfer of Ntuthuko Shoba has been paused after he brought an application to court out of fear for his safety.
  • The accused is supposed to be transferred to Johannesburg Prison as his matter has been transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for trial.
  • The accused said he would like to be kept at Krugersdorp Correctional Facility.

The transfer of Ntuthuko Shoba from Krugersdorp Correctional Facility to Johannesburg Prison has been paused after he brought an application to the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Shoba, the alleged mastermind behind Tshegofatso Pule's murder, brought an application asking that he be kept in the Krugersdorp Prison, through his lawyer advocate Shaddy Sithole. 

Sithole cited messages, voice notes and video messages in their possession, which allegedly threaten Shoba's safety.

"These WhatsApp messages are threatening him, saying [they are] waiting for him to come to Johannesburg Prison. It will not be in the interest of justice to move him," Sithole said.

The court heard that while it was not clear who sent the messages, it could possibly be Muzikayise Malephane, the man convicted for Pule's murder. He is currently serving his sentence at the prison. 

READ | Tshegofatso Pule: Alleged mastermind's trial to begin in High Court on 28 May

On Monday, Shoba was served with the indictment which stated that he faced one count of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, and a second count of defeating the ends of justice.

The court also informed the accused that he would be moved to Johannesburg Prison and that the matter had been transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for trial on 28 May.

The State called the investigating officer (IO) in the matter, Bongani Mpete, to the stand who explained that the reason for the prison transfer was to accommodate logistical issues.

He added that the Krugersdorp facility did not have the means to deal with the required transportation.

"The sentenced prisoners are at a maximum facility whereas awaiting trial prisoners have their own prison, it is two separate buildings," Mpete explained to the court while addressing security concerns.

The defence put it to Mpete that it was possible to make arrangements from Krugersdorp, to address the issue of logistics, to which he responded: "The only arrangement possible is myself as the IO transporting him, but I am reiterating the security behind that."

The State raised that the accused was currently being kept in a single cell at Krugersdorp Correctional Service and that the same arrangement could be made at Johannesburg Prison.

Magistrate Delize Smith, however, asked that a correctional services official be present in court to testify that this could be the same arrangement.

The matter was subsequently postponed to 25 May.

For now, Shoba remains in custody in Krugersdorp.

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