Family members of deceased Tshegofatso Pule broke down and cried when video footage of her last moments alive, was played in court on Friday.
The defence team of Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind behind Pule’s death, had petitioned the Johannesburg High Court to accept the CCTV footage as the new evidence in an attempt to keep Shoba out of prison.
Pule, who was heavily pregnant with Shoba’s child at the time of her death, was shot in Noordgesig, Soweto and her body was later found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort.
Muzikayise Malephane is serving 20 years behind bars after he confessed to the murder that took place in June 2020. Malephane previously testified that he was recruited by Shoba to kill his “girlfriend” for R70 000. But Shoba has denied the accusation.
On Friday, the court watched CCTV footage that showed Pule and Shoba walking to a vehicle that was driven by Malephane. He had fetched Pule from Shoba’s home in Florida Lake, Roodepoort.
Previously during the trial, the court heard that Shoba was outside for three minutes between 10.06pm and 10.09pm, a crucial element in the case. His lawyer had argued that his client was not at the scene at the stated time.
On Friday, judge Stuart Wilson wanted to know: “The accused claimed that he wasn’t outside for three minutes with Pule, but the footage shows that he was outside.”
To which Shoba’s lawyer Norman Makhubela responded: “My Lord, we present to the court that it shows that our client was not on the scene between 10.06pm and 10.09pm.”
Makhubela argued that the CCTV footage presented earlier was not reliable, noting that the complex manager (where Shoba stayed) who testified during the trial was not an expert on how it (the CCTV footage) functions. He said the times were not accurate.
The state did not object but appealed to the judge to look at the previous evidence submitted to the court with careful consideration.
Wilson said he will consider the new CCTV evidence before handing down his judgment on March 25.
Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.