Ntuthuko Shoba sentenced to life for murder of Tshegofatso Pule

Convicted murderer Ntuthuko Shoba has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Tshegofatso Pule.

Acting Judge Stuart Wilson said at the Joburg High Court on Friday that 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 in this trial overwhelmingly pointed that Shoba planned and participated in Pule’s demise.

Shoba was supposed to be sentenced on Thursday, however, Wilson resolved to postpone the matter over heated pre-sentencing arguments.

On Thursday, 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.

According to Wilson, Shoba does not deserve the leniency that was granted to his hitman, Muzikayise Malephane, who is currently serving 20 years in jail.

He said: “Malephane [the killer] was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Shoba’s lawyers argued that Shoba should get the same. Shoba’s role as the prime mover in commissioning the offense makes his situation different. Shoba would have carried on looking for a way to kill Pule with or without Malephane.

“You will spend the rest of your natural life in prison,” concluded Wilson.

The heavily pregnant Pule, then 28, was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep in Roodepoort, Johannesburg in 2020.

Malephane pleaded guilty to the murder and turned state witness.

Malephane admitted that he agreed to the conspiracy to kill Pule because of greed.

He testified that he was promised R70 000 for the murder. Shoba was arrested in February 2021 following the damning allegations.

Also read: Ntuthuko Shoba sentencing postponed to Friday

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