EXPLAINER | Here’s what you need to know about the murder of Tshegofatso Pule

Tshegofatso Pule, 28, was found stabbed and hanged in a veld.
Tshegofatso Pule, 28, was found stabbed and hanged in a veld.

  • Muzikayise Malephane, accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule, told the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday he would not be applying for bail. 
  • Pule was found stabbed and hanged in a veld in Roodepoort last week; she was eight months pregnant. 
  • Here's what you need to know about her murder.

The 31-year-old man accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule told the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday that he would not be applying for bail during his next appearance.

Muzikayise Malephane made his first court appearance following his arrest on Monday in connection with the murder of Pule. He is expected back in court on 24 June.

Pule, a 28-year-old beautician, was found stabbed and hanged in a veld in Roodepoort last week. Her murder sparked widespread debate around the safety of women in South Africa. 

She was eight months pregnant at the time of her murder. 

Here's what you need to know about Pule's murder. 

What happened before Pule's body was found?

Pule was last seen on Thursday, 4 June, when she left her home in Meadowlands, Soweto, to visit her boyfriend in Florida. 

A relative told The Sowetan that Pule called the family and said she had had an argument with her boyfriend, who then called a taxi for her.

According to the Sunday Times, the father of Pule's unborn child, JSE analyst Ntuthuko Shoba, was in a love triangle and hid his relationship with Pule from his family and his fiancée.

Shoba only revealed his involvement with Pule after he was told the 28-year-old woman was missing.

Pule's uncle, Tumisang Katake, told the Sunday Times the police had shown the family CCTV footage taken outside Shoba's home. In it, Pule can allegedly be seen getting into a grey Jeep on 4 June. Shoba did not go with her.

The Jeep in question has been recovered and taken to the police's holding facility for investigation, City Press reported. 

When was Pule's body found? 

Pule's body was found in Florida Lake, Roodepoort, on Monday, 8 June, four days after she was last seen. Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said she had been stabbed in the nipple of her left breast.

"[Pule] was found by a member of the community hanging from a tree, who then notified the police. The deceased is also confirmed to be pregnant."

Her family said they were hurt by her death and the "horrific" scene where she was found. 

City Press reported that Pule's best friend, whom she called prior to getting into the Jeep at her boyfriend's house, is believed to have been the first person to report her missing to the police. 

The friend has reportedly been receiving anonymous threatening calls, asking her not to reveal information about what happened to Pule to authorities. She has been placed under police protection.

What happened at her funeral? 

Pule was laid to rest in Soweto on Thursday, 11 June. She was described as a loving and humble person, who was looking forward to giving birth in the coming weeks.

Her funeral was attended by leaders of political parties, including the EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and government officials. Ndlozi apologised on behalf of men for the crimes against women in South Africa.  

Family representative Grace Mbobo said Pule was a beautician who was talkative, adding that she was also apologetic when in the wrong. She said Pule was generally afraid of going out. 

"To my son, brothers, to my children out there, we did not raise you like this. If there is any mistake I have done to you, give me a chance to fix them," Pule's emotional aunt, Pricilla Giwu, said.

Social media outrage and gender-based violence march 

Pule's brutal death caused outrage on social media and the hashtag #JusticeForTshego was trending on Twitter on Monday. The news made headlines internationally.

On Youth Day on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa used his address to call on young men to become more active in the fight against gender-based violence.

He said the government would increase sexual offences courts and do more to support victims.

A small group of protesters gathered in the Johannesburg CBD on Monday morning to march against gender-based violence.

The event, reportedly organised by award-winning DJ and producer Black Coffee, was postponed at the last minute to 21 June. 

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