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Calls for Tshegofatso Pule’s alleged killer to stop appearing in court virtually

Muzikayise Malephane appeared virtually in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court earlier on Wednesday for Pule's murder.

Muzikayise Malephane, aged 31, appears in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court for the murder of Tshegofatso Pule. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - There are calls for the courts to deal decisively with the man accused of killing 28-year Tshegofatso Pule.

Muzikayise Malephane appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court earlier on Wednesday for Pule's murder.

He is accused of brutally stabbing and hanging her from a tree while she was eight months pregnant.

An angry crowd of community activists, Economic Freedom Fighters and African National Congress members gathered outside court singing for justice for Pule.

They have been demanding that Malephane make a physical court appearance and not a virtual one from the Krugersdorp Prison like he did on Wednesday.

“He has to be there, he needs to face the people, he needs to be shown how serious this matter is. This is a life of a human being, not just one life but two,” one protestor said.

Community activist Palesa Ndangala has accused Malephane of buying time by moving from Legal Aid representation to a private lawyer.

“He was not prepared, and the judge had to postpone because he didn’t bring his lawyer. I felt that this was disrespecting the family and prolonging their healing process.”

Malephane has not applied for bail, he will be kept at the Krugersdorp Prison until the second of next month.

RELIVING PAIN THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA RUMOURS

Family of Pule said they were forced to relive the trauma of her death every time they read speculative social media posts about her.

After Magistrate John Baloyi postponed the matter to the second of next month, members of the community and political parties vocally objected while proceedings were still under way.

The Pule family broke down in the courtroom with friends and family comforting her younger sister who sobbed softly.

Pule’s uncle Tumisang Katake said they had been seeing social media posts making a number of allegations including how Pule’s boyfriend was married and how his wife may be behind her murder.

“It just precipitates the pain we are going through because it’s exactly that, it’s rumours.”

Katake said the only way to help the family through this time was to make official statements to the police on any new information.

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