Tshegofatso Pule killing: Police may make more arrests

Friends and relatives of slain Tshegofatso Pule hold balloons at her funeral.
Friends and relatives of slain Tshegofatso Pule hold balloons at her funeral.
Tebogo Letsie

  • Gauteng police have not ruled out possibility of more arrests soon in connection with murder of pregnant Tshegofatso Pule.
  • A man appeared in court on Wednesday and asked for Legal Aid, saying he could not afford a private lawyer. 
  • Pule's uncle Tumi Katake was at court and applauded police for arresting the suspect. 

Gauteng police have not ruled out the possibility of arresting more suspects in connection with the murder of pregnant Tshegofatso Pule, 28.

On Wednesday, accused Mzikayise Malephane made his first appearance in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court to face a charge of premeditated murder.

Earlier police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza, told News24 that Malephane was arrested on Monday on his way from Mpumalanga.

READ | Man arrested for murder of pregnant Tshegofatso Pule

She later said that police can't rule out further arrests.

"As our investigations are continuing, they will reveal more things. We have somebody that we have arrested and charged with murder and are not ruling [out] possibility of further arrests,” said Kweza.

The Sunday Times reported earlier this week that the father of Pule's unborn child, Ntuthuko Shoba, had secured a lawyer as he was the last person to see her alive. 

Emotional

On Wednesday, Magistrate John Baloyi warned an emotional Malephane, 31, that he was facing a charge of premeditated murder and would need a lawyer to represent him.

Malephane replied that he wanted to be represented by a Legal Aid lawyer as he could not afford a private attorney. He is expected back in court on 24 June.

Pule's body was found hanging from a tree on 5 June in Roodepoort a day after she left her Meadowlands home to visit her boyfriend in Florida.

She had been stabbed. Pule was eight months pregnant. 

READ | 'We want justice' Men who found Tshegofatso Pule's body protest outside court

Pule's uncle Tumi Katake who was at court applauded police for arresting Malephane and thanked all those who sent messages of support for Pule and other victims of gender-based violence in the country.

"We are preparing ourselves for a difficult journey ahead of reliving Pule's last moments on earth. It is a journey that we are prepared to travel especially when we want justice.

"It is difficult for us at this time as a family. We were all expecting her to deliver anytime, but little did we know that she will be killed in a manner she was killed."

"We still thank the country for extending their condolences and appreciate the support even after the funeral from all walks of life and from all types of organisations and those calling for justice for Pule and all victims of gender-based violence," said Katake.

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