State links Ntuthuko Shoba's cellphone number to Tshegofatso Pule murder

Muzikayise Malephane has told the High Court that Ntuthuko Shoba used at least two cellphone numbers and a landline phone to contact him.

Ntuthuko Shoba in the dock on 26 January 2022. He is accused of masterminding the murder of Tshegofatso Pule. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The state in the Tshegofatso Pule murder trial has linked a phone number to Ntuthuko Shoba, which was used to communicate both with Pule and her convicted killer, Muzikayise Malephane.

Wednesday is the third day of trial for Shoba who is accused of masterminding Pule's murder and defeating the ends of justice.

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Malephane has turned State witness and is testifying against Shoba.

The 28-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree after having been shot in June 2020.

She was eight months pregnant.

Malephane has told the High Court in Johannesburg that Shoba used at least two cellphone numbers and a landline phone to contact him. But there is a number currently in dispute.

Shoba has denied using this number, but prosecutors have linked that number to him.

Firstly, a call was made from that number to Malephane on 29 May 2020 from Cresta Mall.

That is the mall where Shoba was with Pule to buy clothes for their unborn child.

The court has heard that the same number called Malephane multiple times while he was in Mofolo, Soweto.

Malephane insists that was Shoba calling him to organise Pule's murder.

State prosecutor Faghre Mohammed said they intended on calling a professional to place that number and to link it to Shoba.

'SHOBA SAID A LOT WAS AT STAKE'

The man convicted of killing Pule has told the Johannesburg High Court that Shoba wanted Pule dead because she refused to terminate her pregnancy.

Malephane said they were driving in Shoba’s car when he asked him to link him with a person who could kill Pule.

While being cross-examined by Shoba’s lawyer, Norman Makhubela, Malephane said Shoba told him that a lot was at stake.

“Firstly, he was going to lose his wife and money but I never asked what money he was talking about.”

But Makhubele asked him why Shoba would request this, as according to Malephane, they were merely acquaintances who sometimes partied together.

“To me, it wasn’t shocking because we had our own bond when we were at our leisure places.”

Malephane said Shoba told him that he had initially tried to solicit a hitman at the Roodepoort Taxi Rank but was unsuccessful.