The man accused of masterminding the death of slain mother-to-be Tshegofatso Pule will be applying for bail next week.
Ntuthuko Shoba – understood to have been the father of Pule’s unborn baby – made a brief appearance in the dock of the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, following his arrest on Friday. His case was postponed to next week for a formal bail application.
Pule was found dead in Durban Deep last June. The 28 year old had been shot in the chest and hanged from a tree. She was eight months’ pregnant at the time.
Last week, Muzikayise Malephane pleaded guilty to her murder but said he was a hired hand and that Shoba had offered him R70,000 to kill her.
In his plea, Malephane said Shoba was married and didn’t want his wife to find out about his relationship with Pule. He said the plan was originally to make it look as though she had committed suicide.
In addition to murder, Malephane also pleaded guilty defeating the administration of justice as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, in accordance with a deal he struck with the state. He is expected to testify against Shoba in court.
Speaking outside court on Monday, Pule’s uncle Tumisang Katake said her loved ones were still struggling to come to terms with her death.
“The family is in tatters,” he said.
He said seeing Shoba in the dock had further “opened up old wounds that were just beginning to heal”.
Katake said the family had known about the relationship between Pule and Shoba but that they hadn’t known he was married. He also said he had never met Shoba in person.
He was hopeful Shoba would not get bail next week.