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Shoba sentencing for Pule’s murder set to start on Tuesday

Ntuthuko Shoba was found guilty of the premeditated murder of Tshegofatso Pule. Sentencing proceedings are expected to begin in the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Ntuthuko Shoba was found guilty of the premeditated murder of Tshegofatso Pule. Sentencing proceedings are expected to begin in the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Image: THAPELO MOREBUDI

The sentencing proceedings of Ntuthuko Shoba, the man who was last month found guilty of murdering Tshegofatso Pule, are expected to begin in the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Pule was eight months pregnant when she was found dead in June 2020, with a single gunshot wound, hanging from a tree in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg.

Shoba was caught after the hitman he hired, Muzikayise Malephane, was arrested.

Malephane confessed to the crime and implicated Shoba as the mastermind, saying the former JSE analyst had wanted Pule killed because he was afraid his fiancée would find out about his affair with Pule.

Malephane pleaded guilty to the murder and is serving a 20-year sentence.

In passing judgment in March, acting judge Stuart Wilson said the question before the court was whether Malephane killed Pule at Shoba’s request, and in the expectation that Shoba would pay him to do so. 

Wilson said  to convict Shoba of murder, he must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he made an agreement with Malephane that Malephane would kill Pule, and that Shoba took steps to help Malephane in doing so. 

Wilson said there was the undisputed fact that there had been at least two meetings between Shoba and the man everyone accepts killed Pule.

“Second, there was Mr Malephane’s unchallenged assertion that he had no prior relationship with Ms Pule and that he in fact he did not know her and had no motive for or means of making contact with her other than with Mr Shoba’s assistance and at Mr Shoba’s behest,” Wilson said in his judgment.

Wilson said there was unchallenged evidence by Malephane that he had picked Pule up from Shoba’s complex on the night that he killed her and that Shoba was present when he picked her up.

“These aspects of the evidence were enough in themselves to put Mr Shoba on his defence. He would at the very least have to confirm that his contact with Mr Malephane was intended to procure cigarettes and not to arrange Ms Pule’s murder,” he said.

After Shoba's conviction, police minister Bheki Cele congratulated the detectives who worked on the case, and said the conviction must serve as a reminder for police officers to prioritise gender-based violence and femicide.

“The next step is for the courts to hand this heartless man an appropriate sentence that we hope can bring some comfort and justice to the Pule family.” Cele said.

TimesLIVE


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