Suspect (31) accused of Tshegofatso Pule's murder appears in court

Muzikayise Malephane was arrested on Monday while traveling from Mpumalanga.

Muzikayise Malephane (31) appears in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on 17 June 2020 for the murder of Tshegofatso Pule. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

ROODEPOORT - Roodepoort residents on Wednesday gathered outside the magistrate court in the area where the man accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule (28) made his first court appearance.

Muzikayise Malephane (31) was arrested on Monday while traveling from Mpumalanga.

He is accused of stabbing Pule multiple times and hanging her on a tree in Durban Deep last week. She was eight months pregnant.

Malephane appeared in court dressed in all black.

As magistrate Job Baloyi called him to the stand, he quietly wept and covered his face.

Malephane refused to apply for bail but requested legal aid representation.

The matter was postponed to next week Wednesday, but proceedings would not be in court.

Magistrate Baloyi announced that it would be heard in camera.

At the same time, a small group of community members and EFF supporters were braving the cold outside the Roodepoort Magistrates Court. They wanted to see the man who allegedly murdered Pule.

Tshepo Bodibe was among the people who found Pule’s body last week. He said he wanted to see justice served.

“I only see these things on TV. Seeing a pregnant woman hanging from a tree murdered, that was traumatising for me,” Bodibe said. “I’ll be happy when justice is served.”

He had a message for all South African men: “I think as men we need to admit that we have a problem, we need to talk about this problem and stop bottling things up. Whichever demon that we are facing as men, we must stop taking it out on women.”

FAMILY APPLAUDS POLICE

Pule’s family applauded the police for their work leading up to the arrest of Malephane.

Pule’s uncle, Tumisang Katake, commended the police for their work on the case.

“We are preparing ourselves for a difficult journey ahead of having to relive Tshegofatso’s last moments. It’s the journey that we as a family are prepared to take,” he said.

He said Malephane was not known to the family.

Katake responded to social media criticism on his willingness to take interviews: “This is not about me. Firstly, we wouldn’t be here if Tshegofatso was still alive. And secondly, she is no more. Whatever the comments are saying about me they are not going to bring back Tshegofatso.”

Malephane was remanded in custody.

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