Tshegofatso Pule’s killer was in fact her boyfriend, says Shoba

‘Jailed Malephane is the real baby daddy’

26 March 2021 - 09:14 By tankiso makhetha
Ntuthuko Shoba, who is accused of ordering the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule, is fighting for release on bail.
Ntuthuko Shoba, who is accused of ordering the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule, is fighting for release on bail.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Ntuthuko Shoba, the man accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of his eight-month pregnant lover Tshegofatso Pule, has made startling claims in his bid for bail by alleging that his convicted co-accused was in fact Pule’s boyfriend.

On Thursday Shoba, 32, told the Roodepoort magistrate’s court that Muzikayise Malephane, who was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for killing Pule, may have been her baby’s father.

This information was among “new facts” Shoba used to reapply for bail after he was initially denied bail on March 5.

Shoba, through his affidavit read into the record by his lawyer Shaddy Sithole, said he had “new facts” based on an admission made to him by a fellow awaiting-trial inmate at the Krugersdorp Correctional Centre.

He said his cellmate, John Thweky Mohabe, told him that Malephane, who was allocated a cell adjacent to Mohabe’s, had confessed to being Pule’s boyfriend.

Shoba said he learnt about details of Pule’s murder only through the investigating officer’s affidavit during his initial bail application.

“I then narrated the matter to Mohabe as read out in court. When I was explaining to him what transpired, I could see his interest and he looked surprised and confused. He later told me there was someone who was arrested for the same story by the name of Muzikayise Malephane, who one day revealed to him that the deceased by the name of Tshegofatso Pule was his girlfriend,” Shoba said.

“He further told me Malephane told him he killed his girlfriend during an argument after he picked her up in Florida.”

Shoba further alleged that during his initial bail application, he was not aware the deceased had multiple relationships.

“Mohabe told me that this information about Malephane having a relationship with the deceased and having killed her after an argument was revealed to two other detainees,” Shoba said.

In a supporting affidavit by Mohabe, which was also read into the record by Sithole, Mohabe said he was approached by Shoba’s legal representatives on March 12 and asked him if he knew the 32-year-old.

He said he encountered Malephane, who was placed in a cell adjacent to his, and greeted him and initiated a friendship after asking him what charges was he facing.

“He told me he was arrested for murder but did not tell me the details at first. However, through our interactions he related the information about his arrest to me. He said he was detained for the murder of his girlfriend and that he picked up his girlfriend at a house in Florida. Along the way he confronted his girlfriend about where he picked her up and an argument ensued,” Mohabe said.

Mohabe said Malephane told him the argument escalated and they touched on Pule’s pregnancy. He said Malephane had asked her if the unborn child was his.

“He said he always doubted the unborn baby was his. He told me he lost his temper and killed his girlfriend and dumped her in a veld at Durban Deep mine,” Mohabe said.

He said Malephane disclosed the details of how he killed Pule. He said he and Malephane developed a brotherly relationship and would often exchange tales of their life experiences.

Mohabe said he was surprised when he encountered Shoba, his new cellmate, who relayed the details of his arrest that were similar to those of Malephane's.

The court was not told what crimes Mohabe had committed that landed him in jail.

The matter was postponed until April 6 for the bail application incorporating the new facts to proceed.

Malephane was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for Pule’s murder and five for obstructing justice and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, to be served concurrently.

He alleged he was offered R70,000 by Shoba to kill Pule.