Tshegofatso Pule's alleged murderer weeps in court, refuses to apply for bail
Johannesburg - The 31-year-old man accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule appeared in Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday afternoon but refused to apply for bail.
Pule’s murder is the latest in a series of violent attacks against women that have rocked South Africa in recent weeks. Pule's stabbed body was found hanging from a tree. She was eight months pregnant.
She was reportedly last seen alive while getting into a metered taxi which her boyfriend had summoned for her two weeks ago. She was laid to rest in Soweto last week.
Muzikayise Malephane, 31, appeared briefly in court where he was charged with premeditated murder.
He wore an all black outfit and covered his face away from cameras. He sat in the dock where he cried before the proceedings began.
Magistrate John Baloyi told Malephane that he had the right to apply for bail. However he declined to apply.
The matter was postponed to June 27 for Malephane to apply for legal aid and appear via camera from Krugersdorp Correctional Centre.
Police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said on Wednesday morning that Malephane was travelling from Mpumalanga when he was arrested in Gauteng on Monday.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane said the accused’s next appearance would also likely be postponed for further investigation once Malephane’s legal representative presented himself to the court.
“We don’t know anything about this guy but how she died forms part of the merits of the case so we can’t really say much. All will be revealed during the trial stage,” she said.
One of the Durban Deep community members who found Pule’s body said he felt connected to the case because he was one of the people who found her stabbed body hanging from a tree.
Speaking outside court, Tshepo Bodibe relived making the grim discovery.
“When we found Tshegofatso hanging from a tree, I am one of the group of people who made a post on Facebook trying to find the family and thankfully we achieved our goal,” he said.
Bodibe called for justice to be served in the matter.
“This whole case has been playing in our heads and it triggered a lot of things and emotions. I am a father and I wouldn’t want this to happen to my daughter,” he said.@Chulu_M