Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind behind the killing of Tshegofatso Pule, has brought forward a second bail application, citing new evidence.
According to the Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane, the 32-year-old has also changed his legal representation to fight his case when he appears in court again next Thursday, Jacaranda FM reported.
This comes after Shoba was denied bail by the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.
The accused’s defence presented the reasons to the magistrate to consider for granting Shoba R2 000 bail, stating that he was not a flight risk, had a job and would not intimidate the witnesses in the case.
The defence also argued that Shoba could not tamper with hardcore evidence in the hands of the police.
However on the day, the magistrate explained that Shoba had failed to give reasons as to whether it was in the interest of justice to grant him bail.
The ruling also echoed the statements made by the prosecutor during the formal bail application proceedings, where it was noted that Shoba’s reasons were not exceptional and did not meet the requirements for granting bail as per section 64 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.
Killer pleads guilty
Pule was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in a Roodepoort last June. She was eight months pregnant at the time and her death sent shockwaves through the country.
Muzikayise Malephane, 31, was arrested in the weeks following Pule’s death and on 19 February at the Johannesburg High Court, he pleaded guilty to murder, defeating the administration of justice as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
This in accordance with a deal he has struck with the state, in terms of which Malaphane – who says he was a hired hand – also agreed to testify against the alleged mastermind behind Pule’s death.
Additional reporting from Bernadette Wicks and Siyanda Ndlovu