Tshegofatso Pule murder: Ntuthuko Shoba denied bail
Ntuthuko Shoba, who is accused of ordering the murder of his lover Tshegofatso Pule when she was eight months pregnant, was denied bail by the Roodepoort magistrate's court on Friday.
Magistrate Delize Smith said: “The applicant [Shoba] has not shown that he will stand trial. He relied on an affidavit which states the bare minimum. The interests of justice, especially public interest, is not sufficient why he should be released on bail.”
Shoba was arrested in connection with the June murder after he was implicated by Muzikayise Malephane, who pleaded guilty to the killing.
He remains in custody pending his next court appearance on March 25, for the indictment to be transferred to the high court.
The 32-year-old had asked for bail of R2,000, saying he feared for his life in jail after receiving death threats.
A group of anti-gender-based violence activists protested outside court on Friday.
Maseko Mojelele from the Sister's Keeper Movement said the outcome of the application was a step towards justice.
“This is all we wanted and we are happy we got it. We will continue to support the family of Pule. We believe that society is not safe with men like Shoba, he should be given a hefty jail time.” Mojelele said.
Neo Giwu, Pule’s aunt, said her prayers and those of their family had been answered.
“I don’t care what happens to him. As long he can come clean about what happened. We knew from the onset we knew he had something to do with it. God answered our prayers.
“Justice has been served. This is a welcomed outcome, you can’t kill someone and expect yourself to walk free. Our hands are empty, our grandchild and daughter died.” Giwu said.
Shoba’s lawyer, Luyanda Nyangiwa, told the court on Monday that a number of voice notes threatening Shoba’s life were circulating.
Nyangiwa said the threats were also made in the corridors of the prison where Shoba was being held.
Shoba claimed the instructions to have Pule killed originated with Malephane, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Pule. She was eight months pregnant at the time of the murder last June. Her family said Shoba was the unborn child’s father.
In justifying the judgment, the magistrate said Shoba did not supply the court with sufficient evidence of the threat to his life and is capable of standing trial.
“Much more should have been said by the applicant to compel the court to release him on bail. There was no mention of family ties or siblings in the area of his address. No mention of his emotional ties to this area apart from growing up in the area.
“He said he received death threats even before he was a suspect. He didn’t present evidence on this. There’s a probability that the applicant will not stand trial,” Smith said.
The magistrate cited a report by the police officers who arrested him. He allegedly told them he would have evaded justice had he known he would be a suspect.
“If I had known you’d arrest me on this charge, you wouldn’t have found me” Smith was quoted as saying.
A week ago, Malephane was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for murder and five years for obstructing justice, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition, to be served concurrently. During his sentencing, Malephane alleged he had been offered R70,000 by Shoba to kill Pule.
Shoba is pleading not guilty. He denies contracting anyone to harm Pule.