Tshegofatso Pule's WhatsApp messages reveal how ex-lover 'forced' her to abort their first child

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The alleged mastermind behind Tshegofatso Pule's murder, Ntuthuko Shoba appears in court. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
The alleged mastermind behind Tshegofatso Pule's murder, Ntuthuko Shoba appears in court. (Photo: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images)
  • Tshegofatso Pule's boyfriend has been directly linked as the alleged mastermind behind her brutal murder.
  • The court heard that Ntuthuko Shoba conspired with Pule's convicted murderer, Muzikayise Malephane.
  • Malephane is serving a 20-year jail term.

The unborn baby that Tshegofatso Pule was carrying when she was killed was apparently the second child she had with the man suspected to be the mastermind behind her murder, Ntuthuko Shoba.

The Roodepoort Magistrate's Court was on Thursday taken through a number of WhatsApp messages between the 28-year-old beautician and her former lover, Shoba, by State prosecutor Paseka Temeki.

In one of the messages Pule sent Shoba, she told him that he was not there for her because he wanted her to have another abortion. In her text, she reminded Shoba about a previous abortion he had forced her to get.

Pule warned Shoba that she was not going to have another abortion, and pleaded with him for support. 

READ: Tshegofatso Pule: Ex-boyfriend appears for her murder, family didn't know he was engaged

Temeki read out the emotional messages Pule sent to Shoba, pleading for his attention.

The court heard how, when Pule was seven months pregnant, she was given tablets by Shoba, after which she experienced excruciating abdominal pains.

Pule also wrote to Shoba to complain about the frustration caused by his ill-treatment and failure to support her emotionally and financially, as well as several attempts to force her to terminate her second pregnancy.

The 32-year-old JSE analyst was in court to make a second attempt at securing a release on bail for Pule's murder.

The second bid is based on "new facts", including the allegation that Pule and Muzikayise Malephane, who was convicted of the murder, were involved in a relationship at the time she was killed.

Malephane implicated Shoba in his guilty plea in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in February. 

Happy about being a father

During his previous appearance, Shoba told the court he was happy with the idea of becoming a father. He added that he would not have killed Pule or his unborn child.

"I could never imagine hiring someone I know to take a hit on the mother of my child," Shoba said in an affidavit before the court at the time.

"I do not have a child of my own and to think that I can kill an innocent soul that is my own flesh and blood is nonsense at best, and I will challenge [Malephane's] untruthful allegations.

"I could not have financially assisted the deceased through her pregnancy while, in the meantime, plotting to kill her."

READ: To think I can kill my own flesh and blood is nonsense - Tshegofatso Pule murder accused

Pule was eight months pregnant with his child when she was killed in June 2020.

Her body was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort.

On Thursday, extensive evidence compiled by the police was presented to a packed court room.

The public gallery listened intently as Temeki presented a damning report of the investigation into Pule's death.

Shoba was implicated in the report through his telephone records.

Cellphone data collected by police investigators revealed that Shoba used two separate sim cards - one registered in his name and another unregistered.

Contacted 23 times

On the day that Malephane murdered Pule, Shoba contacted him 23 times, police found.

Shoba called Malephane before Pule arrived at his Florida home as well as after she was murdered.

Earlier on 4 June 2020, the day when Pule was killed, Shoba had visited Malephane at his girlfriend's place, police found.

During his previous appearance, Shoba had told the court that on that day, Pule was at his house to compile a list of what they needed for their baby.

Later that night, she arranged her own ride home and he walked her outside.

Temeki told the court that, on 5 June 2020, the day after Pule was murdered, Shoba texted her, pretending to be worried about her well-being. 


Murder

In his affidavit, Shoba claimed that Pule left in a silver Jeep SUV, which he thought was her Uber ride.

However, during their investigations, police managed to trace the vehicle and found that it belonged to Malephane's girlfriend.

READ: Tshegofatso Pule's killer was her boyfriend, alleged mastermind claims

During his previous appearance, Shoba told the court that, when the vehicle arrived, it stopped a few metres ahead of him and Pule. Pule then went to the front passenger door and knocked on the window. She allegedly said to the driver: "Whose car is this? Look how drunk you are."

Shoba added that both the vehicle and the driver were unknown to him, and that he thought it was probable that Malephane was Pule's boyfriend at the time. He added that Malephane might have confronted Pule afterwards, and it led to a fight.

Shoba said at the time:

This may also explain why he did not initially unlock the door of the vehicle when picking her up until the deceased signalled for him to lower his window and them exchanging a few words. This would also explain the gruesome nature of the crime, as to how the deceased was killed does not seem to me like a planned murder, but rather a crime of passion.

READ: Tshegofatso Pule's killer 'lost his temper' and 'killed his girlfriend' - cellmate tells court

Malephane had previously told the court, during his guilty plea, that he knew Shoba from high school.

Claims of Pule dating Malephane disputed

On Thursday, Temeki also disputed Shoba's claims that Malephane was dating Pule.

Temeki revealed that a witness, identified as "A40", who is Shoba's friend, told the police that Shoba had met with Malephane at a hardware store in Meadowlands, Soweto. It took place after Pule's disappearance, and it was where Malephane wanted his money.

During his guilty plea, Malephane told the court that Shoba approached him to find a hitman to kill Pule for a fee of R70 000.

READ: Tshegofatso Pule's killer pens apology to family, details murder plot in plea agreement

Malephane said, after he had killed Pule, Shoba told him to write a message to pretend that Pule had committed suicide, the court heard.

Shoba didn't want his girlfriend to know that he had impregnated Pule, Malephane said at the time.

Temeki also revealed that Shoba tampered with police evidence and witnesses, and described him as an unsuitable candidate for bail.

The court also heard how he allegedly collected CCTV footage from his residential complex without the police's permission.

The case has been postponed to 26 April.

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