Ntuthuko Shoba's application for discharge dismissed

Ntuthuko Shoba, who is accused of calling a hit on his girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule, made the application on Monday morning.

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 judge in the Ntuthuko Shoba murder trial has dismissed his application for a discharge.

Shoba, who is accused of ordering a hit on his girlfriend, Tshegofatso Pule, made the application on Monday morning.

The granting of the discharge would be based on there being insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

Pule’s body was found hanging from a tree in Durban deep in 2020.

Shoba's lawyer, Norman Makhubela, has argued that the court has been presented with a sub-standard case.

He's also questioned the credibility of Pule's convicted killer Muzikayise Malephane.

"The court cannot find any reliance from whatever he says other than issues that are a common cause. As for the contested issues, it will be a very precarious exercise to engage in and also make a finding that will favour the acceptance of any his utterances before the court."

But Judge Stuart Wilson has differed.

"On the conspectus of all the facts, I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis that a court acting carefully might overturn a conviction on the charge of murder of the conspiracy to murder."

Wilson has ruled that Shoba must also answer to a charge of defeating the ends of justice.

Shoba told the Johannesburg High Court that he was categorically against the termination of Pule's pregnancy.

He said he met her at a restaurant in 2018, the same year he was planning to traditionally marry his girlfriend Rosetta Moatshe.

Pule then she fell pregnant in the beginning of 2019.

"We discussed whether we are going to terminate or keep the child and we both came to a conclusion that we would terminate," Shoba said.

Pule fell pregnant again at the end of 2019.

"So, she had basically said regarding everything, we aren't really together, but she doesn't think we should do an abortion. And in one of my texts, I respond and say, we can't go that route again."

Malephane told the court that Shoba wanted Pule dead because she refused to have an abortion and that threatened his relationship with Moatshe.