Suspect in Tshegofatso Pule's murder refuses to apply for bail, back in court next week

Muzikayise Malephane.
Muzikayise Malephane.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The man accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule appeared in the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Wednesday afternoon but refused to apply for bail.

Muzikayise Malephane, 31, appeared for less than three minutes before court following his arrest this week. Dressed in a black jacket and black jeans, Malephane sat looking down as throng of photographers took their time taking his pictures  at close range before the proceedings began.

Malephane kept the cap of his jacket covering his head as he tried to hide his face from many journalists who took turns taking his pictures. The media, security, police and the NPA spent the entire lunch time trying to figure out how they would accommodate many journalists that turned out for the case. Even when  magistrate John Baloyi  walked into the room there were still a lot of people outside. He requested court staff which was not working at the time to leave the room.

Malephane  never raised his head before the magistrate entered the courtroom. He kept holding to a beanie which he used to hide his face as he constantly wept during the court proceedings.

“It is a Schedule Six matter. You have a right to apply for bail. This means if you want to be released on bail you have to make a bail application,” Baloyi said.

He had no lawyer present and took Legal Aid,  which was offered to him. But Malephane   declined the opportunity to apply for bail.  He was not asked to plead.

Pule’s  body was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in a veld in Roodepoort last week.  She was eight months pregnant when she was murdered. Pule was last seen on Thursday, June 4, after leaving her home in Soweto to visit her boyfriend. Although her body was found the next, her family only positively identified her on Monday, June 8.

Her gruesome killing sent shockwaves across the country. Gender activists said her death was a sign that the efforts by both government and society to end gender-based violence were not yielding the expected results.

She was laid to rest on Thursday last week.

Police arrested Malephane on Monday on his way from Mpumalanga. He will be back in court on June 24.  As he left the courtroom in tears, Malephane kept the beanie over his head.