Tshegofatso Pule's lawyer uncle will no longer represent GBV accused - report

Tshegofatso Pule, 28, who was found stabbed and hanged in a veld on Monday. She was eight months pregnant.
Tshegofatso Pule, 28, who was found stabbed and hanged in a veld on Monday. She was eight months pregnant.
  • Tshegofatso Pule's uncle, who is also the attorney who represented Karabo Mokoena's killer, Sandile Mantsoe, says he will no longer take on any gender-based violence cases.
  • In an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Sunday, Katake said he was too traumatised by his niece's death.
  • He did not regret representing Mantsoe because all accused are entitled to representation but regretted what happened to Mokoena.

The uncle of slain Tshegofatso Pule, Tumisang Katake, who was also the lawyer who represented the man who murdered Karabo Mokoena, has vowed to not represent anyone accused of any gender-based violence offences in future.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Sunday, Katake explained how he came to represent Sandile Mantsoe - who stabbed Mokeona and tried to burn her remains - saying he has now taken a stand against GBV.

Pule's body was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort, Gauteng last week. She was eight months pregnant and had been stabbed in the chest.

READ | #JusticeforTshego: Her death 'hurts the family' - uncle of murdered pregnant Gauteng woman

Katake announced his decision at the 28-year-old's funeral on Thursday.

"What I said when I was making that [speech] was that I will never represent any suspect or anyone who is suspected of having committed GBV, what I meant is that I am taking a principle stand now.

No exception

"There [isn't] going to be any exception to either case that I'm going to be briefed on because I believe from now onwards, I am not going to be able to give my best," he told Newzroom Afrika.

Asked why he did take this decision sooner, Katake said lawyers are required to put emotions aside to do the job objectively but when emotions do become involved and becomes triggering "you might as well not do it".

"Morally and legally the gender-based violence is wrong, but at the same time… our Constitution still gives the accused person the right to be represented by a legal representor of their choice, and in this instance there was a job for me [to do] and which I did.

"I do not regret representing anyone who was accused of any GBV offences," he said, adding, however, that from now on he does not see himself giving his best.

ALSO READ | Man who allegedly last saw Tshegofatso Pule alive secures a lawyer - report

While lawyers have a legal obligation to represent people, Katake said it was still his right to refuse the job if he does not think he will be able to do the job properly.

"I do not regret representing Sandile Mantsoe, I will never regret doing my job, however, I regret what Sandile Mantsoe did to [Karabo Mokoena]."

He added that he does not think it was a mistake to take on the case because Mantsoe was entitled to representation. He is still too traumatised by his niece's murder to take on GVB cases in the future.

News24 previously reported that police are yet to make any arrests in Pule's murder, however, Police Minister Bheki Cele said they are chasing up leads.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko also called on people to use social media to fight GBV as well as communities to assist in the fight against the scourge, News24 reported.

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