Trial of alleged ’mastermind’ behind Pule murder on hold
Share this article:
THE much anticipated murder trial of Ntuthuko Shoba has been postponed to January next year.
Shoba, 33, a former JSE analyst, faces the rap for allegedly masterminding the brutal murder of Tshegofatso Pule, his pregnant girlfriend last year.
The 28-year-old Pule was found hanging from a tree in a secluded area in Roodepoort.
Shoba’s trial was due to kick off yesterday (Monday) at the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, some eight months since he was arrested and charged for murder and defeating the ends of justice.
But his lawyer brought a postponement application. Acting Judge William Karam heard that Shoba’s legal team was barely ready for the trial.
The team needed time to consult with Shoba properly. The State, which had previously pronounced its readiness to prosecute, did not oppose the postponement application.
Judge Karam ruled to postpone the trial to January.
“Having regard that this postponement application is not opposed, this matter is postponed to the first available date to the defence, being January 17, 2022,” he said.
“Counsel for the defence as well as the instructing attorney have informed the court that this date is suitable.
“The accused obviously will remain in custody.”
Shoba was arrested in February and charged after Muzikayise Malephane, a man initially nabbed for Pule’s shocking killing, entered into a plea bargain with the State.
As part of the plea bargain, 31-year-old Malephane confessed that he killed Pule after Shoba paid him R70 000 to do the job because he did not want his wife to find out about Pule’s pregnancy.
Due to the plea bargain, he was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. His confession effectively saved him from being handed a life imprisonment sentence.
He would have been eligible for parole after serving 25 years had he been sentenced to a life term. Malephane would now be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.
If found guilty, Shoba faces a life imprisonment sentence, prosecutor Faghre Mohamed told the court during bail appeal proceedings.