Family and friends bid farewell to murdered mom-to-be Tshegofatso Pule
Tshegofatso Pule, who was found murdered in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, this week, is being laid to rest on Thursday.
Pule's body was found by a community member in the veld in Durban Deep on Monday. Police said she had a stab wound to her chest. She was eight months pregnant. No arrests had been made by Wednesday night.
Her coffin arrived at the family home at 9am. There were emotional scenes amid the sombre mood.
“Whoever did this to you, God will deal with them accordingly. If I had to take the law into my own hands, I will kill those people myself,” a family member said.
Her uncle Tumisang Katake said just last week they had also buried a cousin who died at the hands of a man.
Katake, who was also the defence attorney for Sandile Mantsoe, says he now knows what the family of Karabo Mokoena went through.
“Tshego is Karabo today.”
Katake pledged to never again represent anyone who “rapes, kills, abuses and molests” children and women.
Politician Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said, “Only a coward rapes a woman. Only a coward kills a woman. They are not fathers, they are not uncles, they are cowards.”
Katake told TimesLIVE on Tuesday that the 28-year-old had worked as a make-up artist and wanted to pursue studies in marketing.
She was expecting a baby girl, who would have been her first child.
Katake said the family suspected something was wrong when WhatsApp messages and calls to her went unanswered on Friday. She was last online on WhatsApp just before 10pm last Thursday.
She left her aunt’s home in Meadowlands in Soweto and, according to Katake, was picked up to go buy maternity clothes. She never made it back home.
Scores of mourners had also attended a memorial service for her in Soweto on Wednesday evening.
What a send off Tshego! We tried by al means to abide by COVID regulations but your spirit didn't allow. I'm more confident now that your soul won't rest untill we have found the perps. You've always been a fighter. May your spirit live on.#TshegofatsoPule#JusticeForTshego pic.twitter.com/oW5KxDOu73— Khumo Mogotsi (@Maizuur29) June 10, 2020
Her murder has sparked a petition demanding dramatic changes in the way gender-based violence is dealt with by the government.
Chanté Moos wrote: “We are sick and tired of the war against women in SA. We are sick and tired of the abuse. We are sick and tired of being raped. We are sick and tired of dying.
“Lifeline has reported that gender-based violence cases went up 500% since the lockdown. The UN has called violence against women and girls the 'shadow pandemic'. For SA women, this is all too familiar.
“We demand sustainable change.
“We demand safety. We demand equality and empowerment.
“For Tshegofatse, Naledi, Uyinene and countless other women and girls who should still be alive today.”