The family of Tshegofatso Pule says the past two years have been an emotional rollercoaster, and now that Ntuthuko Shoba has been sentenced, they can finally begin the healing process.
Shoba has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday. He’s been convicted for masterminding Pule’s murder in 2020. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
Pule’s uncle, Tumisang Katake says, “It felt like we were burying Tshegofatso again inside the court. But I guess from here it’s for us to put this thing behind us and begin the healing process. I must be honest, this case took a toll on me, personally, professionally and emotionally. We are left with lots of questions. And the answers, it’s only Ntuthuko that can answer those questions.”
SABC News Hasina Gori reporting:
On Thursday, Shoba’s defence lawyer, Norman Makhubele, begged the High Court not to sentence him to life in prison or to a punishment that could be considered cruel or inhumane.
He leaned on the 20-year sentence that was handed down on hired hitman Malepane, saying Shoba should receive a similar sentence as opposed to life imprisonment.
However, the state said there are no exceptional circumstances that warrant the court to detract from prescribing the maximum sentence.
State prosecutor Fagre Mohammed underlined that Pule was pregnant and respected Shoba. However, he exploited her vulnerability and broke that trust by hiring someone to kill her.
In the video below, Reporter Hasina Gori unpacks Thursday’s court proceedings: