Shoba trial wraps after 14 witnesses, including ‘a great scriptwriter’

Ntuthuko Shoba was in court on Tuesday for closing arguments in the murder trial against him for allegedly orchestrating his girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule's murder.

Ntuthuko Shoba in the High Court in Johannesburg on 1 February 2022. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The family of a 28-year-old pregnant woman who was shot and hanged from a tree said they were relieved to know what happened in the final hours leading up to her murder.

Ntuthuko Shoba was in court on Tuesday for closing arguments in the murder trial against him for allegedly orchestrating his girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule's murder.

Her body was found in Durban Deep in 2020; she was eight months pregnant.

Muzikayise Malephane has confessed to the murder and turned State witness. He is serving a 20-year jail sentence.

At the end of Malephane's conviction, Pule's family still had many unanswered questions that only he could answer while he was on the witness stand.

Like why she had to be killed and where she was shot before being transported to Durban Deep where she was hanged from a tree.

Malephane told the court that Shoba wanted Pule dead because her pregnancy threated his relationship with his fiancé.

Family spokesperson Tumisang Katake has reacted to this: “I wish she hadn’t fallen pregnant, I don’t think we’d be here. I wish Shoba could’ve just distanced himself from the pregnancy and not taken responsibility for it, I don’t think we’d be here."

Katake said now that they knew where Pule died, they would be able to conduct the necessary traditional rituals.

‘A GREAT SCRIPTWRITER’

The Johannesburg High Court heard that Malephane was a great scriptwriter with an intense obsession to bring Shoba down.

Defence lawyer Norman Makhubela has maintained his strategy of discrediting Malephane as a witness, pointing out how he changed his story before settling on his latest statement.

“Our submission is that cumulative effect of all these red flags are adventuring into an exercise of attempting to accept or trying to find credibility on some of the aspects that seem to implicate the accused, where the accused denies it.”

But then Judge Stuart Wilson asked what Malephane’s motive would be to lie against Shoba.

“Malephane seems to be a great scriptwriter, his conduct is full of some kind of obsession towards having the accused being dealt with,” Makhubela responded.

After four weeks of trial and about 14 witnesses later, both parties have wrapped up their cases.

Judgment has been reserved.