The alleged mastermind behind 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule’s murder has been denied bail by the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court, west of Johannesburg.

Police arrested Nthutuko Shoba at his Florida home last month after the man convicted of Pule’s murder had implicated him following a plea bargain agreement with the State.

In June last year, Pule’s body was found hanging from a tree in an open veld in Roodepoort. Pule, who had stab wounds to the chest, was eight months pregnant at the time.

Women’s rights groups say the denial of bail to Shoba is a step forward in attaining justice for her.

Bail decision for alleged murder mastermind Nthutuko Shoba:

In delivering her judgment, Magistrate Delize Smith said that the accused did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his release on bail would be in the interest of justice.

Shoba is charged with a schedule six offence of premeditated murder.

Shoba allegedly agreed to pay Muzikayise Malephane R70 000 to kill Pule, so that his wife wouldn’t find out that he was in a relationship with Pule.