Tshegofatso Pule trial: Self-confessed killer says her ex-lover paid him to murder her
A former boyfriend of Tshegofatso Pule allegedly hired a man to murder her to hide her pregnancy from his wife, the South Gauteng High Court heard during a plea deal on Friday.
Pule, a 28-year-old Johannesburg-based beauty products representative, was eight months pregnant when she was killed in June last year. Police said at the time that she was found with a stab wound in her chest and her bloodstained body hanging from a tree in the Durban Deep area of Roodepoort. Her unborn child was a daughter.
In his plea agreement read out by his lawyer, accused Muzikayise Malephane told the court her ex-lover had first offered him R7,000 to kill Pule, but he declined.
He said the man later offered him R20,000 but he still felt the amount was too little.
After an offer of R70,000 was made, Malephane said, he agreed to kill Pule.
Malephane said he had shot Pule and hung her.
He pleaded guilty on Friday morning after he and his legal team had entered into a plea agreement with the state.
Muzikayise Malephane was convicted of killing Tshegofatso Pule in the high court in Johannesburg on February 19 2021. He pleaded guilty to charges including murder, obstruction of justice and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. 28-year-old Pule was pregnant at the time of her death in June 2020.
The state confirmed the plea agreement had been signed by Pule’s family and the investigating officer.
Malephane pleaded guilty to charges including murder, obstructing justice and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
“I confirm, my lord,” Malephane told judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng when he was asked to confirm if he understood the plea agreement and had entered into it voluntarily.
Before proceedings started, Malephane sat with his head hung low inside a packed court.
Malephane, who had a black wrist guard around his right arm, covered his legs and waist with a purple blanket.
Many of Pule’s family members filled the front rows of the gallery. A few were clad in black T-shirts with Pule’s face on it.
Wearing a grey top and blue jeans and with chains around his ankles, Malephane appeared calm.