Covid-19 causes delay in Tshegofatso Pule's case

02 July 2020 - 09:42
By Penwell Dlamini
Sowetan has established that Muzikayise Malephane, 31, allegedly planned Tshegofatso Pule's murder and had tried killing her a month ago but was unsuccessful.
Image: Veli Nhlapo Sowetan has established that Muzikayise Malephane, 31, allegedly planned Tshegofatso Pule's murder and had tried killing her a month ago but was unsuccessful.

The case against the man accused of killing Tshegofatso Pule has been postponed to next week.

Muzikayise Malephane, who is accused of killing Pule, did not even appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court as it is currently being decontaminated after two court orderlies tested positive for Covid-19.

“The case was postponed to next week Thursday in absentia. Roodepoort court is closed today for decontamination. Only first time cases are being attended to,” said Phindi Mjonondwane, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson.

Chrispin Phiri, the spokesperson of the department of justice and correctional services confirmed that there were Covid-19 cases at the court.

“The court is just being decontaminated just for today. They are, however, allowing domestic violent matter to continue. Services should resume fully tomorrow. Two police officers have been found to have tested positive for Covid-19,” Phiri said.

Last month Malephane, 31, appeared virtually in court and requested that he utilise his own lawyers. In his first appearance, he took the offer of a Legal Aid representative.

Pule’s body was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in a veld in Roodepoort on June 5. She was eight months pregnant when she was murdered.Pule was last seen on Thursday June 4 when she left her home in Soweto to visit her boyfriend. Although her body was found the next day, her family only positively identified her on Monday, June 8.Her gruesome murder shocked the nation and activists against gender-based violence said it was indication that the country’s efforts to end violence against women and children were not having the desired impact.

Malephane was arrested while returning from Mpumalanga on June 15. A police statement that SowetanLIVE has seen alleged that Malephane confessed to killing Pule and the murder was allegedly planned together with another man she knew. According to the statement, Malephane and the other man had allegedly tried several times to kill her but failed.The statement further alleged that Malephane was promised an amount of R70,000 for the murder by the other man.