He wanted cigarettes: Shoba’s lawyers say he wasn't involved in Pule’s murder

Ntuthuko Shoba, who is the alleged mastermind behind Pule's murder, is standing trial in the Johannesburg High Court.

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 defence in the Tshegofatso Pule murder case say the alleged mastermind behind her murder had no links to her murderer except when acquiring cigarettes illegally during the hard lockdown.

Ntuthuko Shoba, who is the alleged mastermind behind Pule's murder, is standing trial in the Johannesburg High Court.

For four days, Muzikayise Malephane - who was convicted for killing Pule - has been on the witness stand testifying against Shoba.

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Pule (28) was found shot dead and tied to a tree in Durban Deep in June 2020. She was eight months pregnant.

In his cross examination, Shoba's lawyer Norman Makhubela introduced his version of how Shoba and Malephane started communicating.

He said the men bumped into each other on Main Reef Road during the hard lockdown and they spoke about how they are holding up during the pandemic.

He said on 4 June, the day Pule was killed, Shoba wanted to buy cigarettes in bulk from Malephane and they had a brief interaction.

In his testimony, Malephane had told the court that when Shoba visited him on 4 June, he came to tell him that Pule had to die on that day.