Sunday Times

Mother’s Day an ‘emotional hurdle’ as Pule trial goes on

- By IAVAN PIJOOS

It was a bitterswee­t moment for the family of Tshegofats­o Pule when a second bid to be released on bail by Ntuthuko Shoba failed in the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Friday.

Shoba is accused of mastermind­ing the murder last June of Pule, his lover.

“While we may be celebratin­g the small victory, we are equally anxious as more gory details are going to come out,” said Pule’s cousin Botlhale Modisane.

“There are still going to be so many tears shed and there is still going to be a whole lot more to deal with.”

Pule was eight months pregnant with his child at the time of her death.

Shoba was arrested in February after the first person to be apprehende­d for the crime, Muzikayise Malephane, entered a plea agreement with the state. Now serving a 20-year jail term, Malephane said he had been hired to kill Pule because Shoba feared his wife would find out about him fathering a child with another woman.

Modisane praised detective Bongani Gerald Mpete and the National Prosecutin­g Authority (NPA) for a “stellar job” in the case.

“The investigat­ing officer has continued to work on this with such integrity and we are equally happy. The NPA has just been guns blazing.

“We are generally happy, even though the road ahead seems steep,” Modisane said.

Today — Mother’s Day — will be an emotional hurdle for the family, she said.

“Tshego’s aunt, who had been bringing her up, is torn because she [Pule] was the light of the family.”

Modisane said Pule had always made her aunt’s day special as a token of appreciati­on for her upbringing.

“There is definitely going to be a huge void that cannot be filled by anyone else. It is going to be emotional, but being together as a family also helps us deal with whatever we are faced with.”

The magistrate in the case, Delize Smith, said on Friday that it was not in the interest of justice to release Shoba.

The packed gallery rejoiced when the decision was announced. The court heard that most of the evidence in Shoba’s second bail applicatio­n did not contain any “new facts” that had not been heard in the first applicatio­n.

Smith said Shoba had previously told the court he had received death threats before he was arrested at a time when he was not a suspect.

“Again, this is not a new fact but existed in the first bail applicatio­n,” the magistrate said.

Shoba’s next appearance is on May 27.

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 ?? Picture: Deepa Keesa ?? Muzikayise Malephane was jailed after being found guilty of the murder of Tshegofats­o Pule.
Picture: Deepa Keesa Muzikayise Malephane was jailed after being found guilty of the murder of Tshegofats­o Pule.
 ?? Picture: Zama Luthuli ?? Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind in the murder of his lover Tshegofats­o Pule.
Picture: Zama Luthuli Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind in the murder of his lover Tshegofats­o Pule.

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