- Tshegofatso Pule's family says they are not surprised after Shoba's latest bail bid was dismissed.
- Shoba faces a premeditated murder charge for allegedly being the mastermind behind Pule's death.
- The trial is expected to begin in October.
Tshegofatso Pule's family says they are not in the least bit surprised after the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg dismissed the bail bid of Ntuthuko Shoba - the alleged mastermind behind her murder.
"Honestly, I saw this one coming, but you will never know with court processes," family spokesperson Tumisang Katake said following the ruling on Wednesday.
"What I can say is that this is yet another milestone for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Like we have said, we have always had confidence in the strength of the case, but this proves that it was a job well done for the NPA," he added.
Shoba approached the High Court just before the commencement of his murder trial to appeal the March bail judgment in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court that found that he failed to prove exceptional circumstances for his release.
Shoba, who is facing a schedule 6 premeditated murder charge, was initially denied bail in the magistrate's court in March.
He applied again in May, and it was again declined after the court found that there were no new facts presented in the application, News24 reported.
Pule's loved ones said they anticipated an appeal from Shoba after bail was denied twice.
In fact, the family stated that they were surprised that he took such a long time to appeal.
News24 reported that during the bail appeal application, Shoba's lawyer argued that while the State's case was not weak, it was not conclusive, as it relied on the evidence of Pule's convicted killer, Muzikayise Malephane.
When probed to comment on this argument, NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the State had been ready to proceed to trial since the matter was transferred to the High Court.
"Ours is to place all the relevant evidence before the court, and the court will make a determination on the strength of the State's case. As the NPA, we are officers of the court, therefore, we resist any attempt to disclose the contents of the State's case through the media. All will be revealed in the court of law," she said.
Shoba was implicated in the murder after Malephane pleaded guilty to the murder and turned State witness in February.
Malephane alleged Shoba had hired him to kill the 28-year-old beautician and to make it look like a suicide.
Pule was eight months pregnant at the time of her death and was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep in June 2020.
The trial is set to start on 4 October.
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