Tshegofatso Pule murder case postponed due to COVID-19 cases

The 29-year-old heavily-pregnant woman’s body was discovered hanging by a tree in Roodepoort

The National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) said all cases which were meant to be heard at Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court have been put off to Thursday, 9 July 2020

There has been a delay in the case involving the man accused of murdering 29-year-old Tshegofatso Pule – with the matter now postponed due to positive cases of COVID-19.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), two police officers at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The case was postponed to next week Thursday in absentia. Roodepoort court is closed today for decontamination. Only first time cases are being attended to,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

31-year-old Muzikayise Malephane is accused of savagely murdering Pule back in June. The heavily-pregnant woman’s body was discovered hanging from a tree in Roodepoort.

She was last seen on 4 June when she left her boyfriend’s home in Soweto. News of her senseless killing sent shockwaves across the country and once again placed focus on the alarming femicide rates.

A love triangle gone wrong

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the father of Pule’s unborn child, Ntuthuko Shoba admitted to being involved in a love triangle. Video footage showing Pule getting into Shoba’s grey Jeep on the night of her disappearance raised further red flags.

Shoba, who immediately engaged legal assistance, was questioned by police over the weekend but was later released.

Calls for justice

President Cyril Ramaphosa has continued to condemn the scourge of violence against women and children, particularly in the wake of the lockdown where many victims find themselves trapped indoors with their abusers.

“Over the last few weeks, no fewer than 21 women and children have been killed in South Africa. These women are not just statistics. They have names, and they have families,” Ramaphosa said.

“Over the last few weeks, no fewer than 21 women and children have been killed in South Africa. These women are not just statistics. They have names, and they have families,” Ramaphosa  further said.

The president said the country needed to ask itself tough questions over the scourge of gender-based violence. Ramaphosa also noted that violent crimes had increased since government lifted restrictions on alcohol sales on 1 June under level 3 lockdown, saying the link between alcohol abuse and GBV had to be interrogated.

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