WATCH: Sorrow engulfs Soweto community as Tshegofatso Pule laid to rest
Johannesburg - It was a sombre and cold morning in Meadowland, Soweto on Thursday morning as the family and friends of Tshegofatso Pule laid the 28-year-old woman to rest.
The murder of Pule, who was eight months pregnant, is the latest in a series of violent attacks against women which have rocked South Africa in recent months Pule was found hanging from a tree earlier this week. She had been stabbed multiple times.
Pule’s family and friends wailed as her body and the body of her unborn child were laid to rest at the Dobsonville Cemetery.
Speaking at the Pule family home in Meadowlands, the deceased’s friend said her family and friends mustn’t forget to be happy even in difficult times.
“Don’t forget to laugh and when you do laugh, don't feel guilty because you are supposed to be mourning for me. Laugh because I am still here with all of you, laugh because I can hear you. Your laughter is what keeps her alive and close to us,” she said.
Pule was reportedly last seen alive while getting into a cab which her boyfriend had summoned for her on Thursday.
The friend added that Pule’s family and friends should remain strong, to dedicate things to her, make her proud, speak to about and to keep her close.
A family friend of Pule made a strong and emotional call for justice to be served.
“Whoever did this to Tshego, I am asking God to deal with them according and punish them… If I were to take the law into my hands, I would kill those people who did that to my daughter” she said.
The family friend lamented that Pule and her unborn child’s souls were taken together when their family could have taken care of the child.
“It takes a village to raise a child. Tshego’s child was going to grow and we were going to raise them,” she said.
Pule's uncle Tumisang Katake, who was one of the defence lawyers in Karabo Mokoena murder case, said that he would no longer be representing rapist, molesters and killers.
“Let her death not be the darkness upon our lives. Let her death be the bright and shining light in our lives and let it be the star that we look up to in the sky and we see the shining light when that star is shining bright,” he said.
Katake also pleaded with the community of Meadowlands and South Africa to not take the law into their hands.
EFF MP and former party spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi who was grieving with the family said people who were committing gender based violence and femicide were cowards.
“Only a coward beats a woman, only a coward kills a woman, only a coward rapes a woman. It must be said in no unequivocal terms that these are cowards, they are not men, they are not fathers, they are not uncles but cowards,” he said.
Ndlozi said the coronavirus was called the invisible enemy however the men who committed femicide were not invisible.
“You can fight this struggle. Women of South Africa, you have to come together and you can confront this… You don’t need anyone’s authority to confront this system,” he said.
The MP called for all South African men to isolate rapists, woman beaters and men who undermine women amongst them.