Tshegofatso Pule murder: What we learnt during first week of Shoba's trial

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Ntuthuko Shoba. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
Ntuthuko Shoba. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
  • The first week of Ntuthuko Shoba's trial has heard three witness so far.
  • Shoba is accused of plotting the murder of Tshegofatso Pule on 4 June 2020.
  • Here are five things we heard during the trial.

Tshegofatso Pule was murdered on 4 June 2020 by Muzikayise Malephane. Her killer alleges that he carried out the hit under Ntuthuko Shoba's instruction.

Malephane was convicted of Pule's murder in February 2021 after he pleaded guilty and implicated Shoba as the alleged mastermind.

Shoba faces one count of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, and a count of defeating the ends of justice. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Here is what the court has heard so far:

1. There was more than one attempt on her life

The testimony by Pule's friend of 16 years revealed that there was more than one attempt on Pule's life. Tshepiso Tsita testified that a recruitment agency had contacted Pule for a job in the beauty industry. Her interview would be at a McDonald's in the south of Johannesburg.

Malephane later confirmed that Pule was "supposed to die" on 29 May 2020, and that Shoba had instructed him to pick Pule up from the interview.

READ | Tshegofatso Pule: Killer confirms she was 'supposed to die' a week earlier

2. Shoba and Pule were in a relationship, according to people close to her

Tsita testified that, from her observation, Ntuthuko Shoba and Pule were "in a relationship," on and off since 2018. 

In her testimony, Tsita said: "They (Shoba and Pule) were dating. He would come and pick her up, request her an Uber. They had a relationship, from my point of view."

3. Pule was supposed to be hanged at Maraisburg Bridge

Malephane also testified that the initial plan was to hang Pule at the Maraisburg Bridge in a bid to make her death appear to be a suicide.

The key State witness testified that "Shoba was first going to take her phone and write a suicidal [sic] message that he would upload on her status".

READ | Tshegofatso Pule murder trial: Alleged mastermind wanted Pule to be hanged from Maraisburg Bridge

4. Malephane shot Pule in a separate location before he hanged her body

Malephane testified about Pule's final moments on 4 June 2020. He told the court that, when he picked her up from Shoba's residence in Roodepoort, he had driven to Noordgesig. Malephane said he told Pule to get out of the car, shot her and then placed her on the back seat of the silver/grey Jeep. He then drove to Durban Deep, where he hanged her from a tree.

5. Shoba denies any involvement in the murder

Shoba intends on denying any involvement in the murder. He also denies any friendship with Malephane, insisting he was merely an acquaintance he bought cigarettes from during the lockdown. He further denies giving any instruction to Malephane to murder Pule, and paints himself as a supportive prospective father who could not wait for his daughter's arrival in the days leading up to Pule's murder.

The trial continues on Monday.

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