“To reject the state’s case I would have to find that Malephane lied about virtually everything he had said. But he had been, nonetheless, fortuitously assisted in his lies by four extraordinary pieces of luck,” Wilson said.
He said while it was true that by the time Shoba’s lawyer Norman Makhubela’s cross-examination was concluded, Malephane’s evidence was “far from being untarnished”, it still contained unchallenged assertions that required an explanation from Shoba.
“There was an undisputed fact that there had been at least two meetings between Shoba and the man everyone accepts killed Pule.
"Secondly, there was Malephane’s unchallenged assertion that he had no prior relationship with Pule and that he in fact he did not know her and had no motive for or means of making contact with her other than with Shoba’s assistance and at his behest,” Wilson said.
Wilson said it was unchallenged that Malephane had picked Pule up from Shoba’s complex on the night that he killed her and that Shoba was present when he picked her up.
“These aspects of the evidence were enough in themselves to put Shoba on his defence. He would at the very least have to confirm that his contact with Malephane was intended to procure cigarettes and not to arrange Pule’s murder,” he said.
Wilson pointed out that the court accepted that Malephane was a discredited witness, an admitted liar who had an axe to grind against Shoba and that he was a single witness to most of the events he narrated during trial.
“Despite these obvious notes of caution, there was, for the reasons I have given, clear material in Malephane’s evidence on which a reasonable court acting carefully might convict Shoba. That is why I refused the discharge application. In any event, the state’s case did not begin and end with Malephane’s testimony,” Wilson said.