Convicted killer Muzi Malepane has testified that he was offered R70 000 to ensure Tshegofatso Pule was killed. Malepane confessed to her murder and is currently serving a 20-year-sentence.
However, he says this was on the instruction of Ntutuko Shoba, who is thought to be the father of Pule’s unborn baby.
The baby also died when she was murdered on 04 June 2020.
Shoba is facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder as well as defeating the ends of justice.
State witness Malepane has told the High Court in Johannesburg about the elaborate plan to kill Pule.
Malepane told the court he knew Shoba from high school and they used to party together. He says they were not in contact for some time, and then one day in 2020, Shoba made contact, wanting to meet. Malepane says Shoba asked him to find someone who could kill Pule.
Malepane said he could assist and they reached an agreement.
“Initially he offered me R 7000, I said it was too little. He then offered me R20 000 and then R70 000 and they came to an agreement that amount was sufficient.”
It was the chilling evidence of how they plotted to kill Pule that led to emotions running wild in the public gallery.
“He explained that he wanted Pule to be hanged on a bridge in Maraisberg. Initially, he was going to take Pule’s phone to write a suicide note and post it on WhatsApp. May 2020, Shoba said there was a girl that was arranging an interview for Miss Pule. The interview set up so I can pick up Pule and take them to Shoba’s house. That was the day Pule was supposed to die. 29 May. The plan was to pick her up in the south of Johannesburg at a Mcdonald’s close to Gold Reef City. I got there and waited for a while and in the end, I decided to leave.”
Malepane owns a bakkie but says he was driving his girlfriend’s silver Jeep so that he would not attract suspicion. He told the court that a few days later, on the 4th of June 2020, Shoba came to his place of residence and told him Pule was coming to visit and she needed to die that day.
“Shoba said they must go hang Pule at Maraisburg by the bridge, and they agreed on that. Later on, I went to Maraisburg to scout that bridge. When I got to the bridge, I noticed that one could not hang a person there because it was a very busy street.”
Malepane is yet to explain how he eventually picked up Pule from Shoba’s place, and how he ended up using a gun to shoot her before leaving the body hanging from a tree.