Ntuthuko Shoba challenges his conviction and life sentence

Murder convict Ntuthuko Shoba is expected to appear in the high court in Johannesburg on Friday to apply for leave to appeal his jail sentence and murder conviction.

Shoba is serving a life term for orchestrating the murder of his then-girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule in 2020. He was found guilty of masterminding Pule’s murder by hiring a hitman to get rid of her.

At the time of her death, Pule was eight months pregnant with Shoba’s child. The heavily pregnant Pule, then 28, was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep in Roodepoort, Johannesburg in 2020.

Muzikayise Malephane pleaded guilty to the murder and turned state witness. He confessed that he agreed to the conspiracy to kill Pule because of greed, testifying that Shoba promised him R70 000 for the murder.

Sentencing Shoba in July, acting judge Stuart Wilson said the offence was one of the worst he had come across.

“A contract killing that exploited the dependency of a young woman and the death of an unborn baby. Shoba attempted to kill Pule at least twice. It’s clear that Shoba was the prime mover in bringing her death. Pule’s killer was hired by Shoba. Pule was vivacious but she was vulnerable.

“Her vulnerability was emotional and material. As her pregnancy progressed, she relied financially on Shoba. Shoba wanted to get rid of them because they were an inconvenience,” said Wilson.

Substantiating his judgment, Wilson said the evidence overwhelmingly pointed that Shoba planned and participated in Pule’s demise.

A day before Shoba’s sentencing, defence lawyer Norman Makhubele argued that Shoba should not be subjected to a life sentence, suggesting that a 20-year jail sentence would be appropriate.

But according to Wilson, Shoba did not deserve the leniency that was granted to the hitman, Malephane, who is currently serving 20 years in jail.

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