Tshegofatso Pule murder: Ntuthuko Shoba hoping for new bail bid as trial date set

Iavan Pijoos Journalist
Ntuthuko Shoba has a new legal team and hopes to bring a third application to be released on bail pending trial. File photo
Ntuthuko Shoba has a new legal team and hopes to bring a third application to be released on bail pending trial. File photo
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Ntuthuko Shoba, the former JSE analyst standing trial for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule, wants to launch a third bail application with a new defence team, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Friday morning.

Earlier this week, Shoba won the right to be held in a single cell at the Johannesburg Prison, due to his concerns about his safety, though he had initially sought to remain in a Krugersdorp facility away from his alleged accomplice.

He has brought two failed bail applications so far, and alleges that the man already serving a 20-year prison term for Pule's murder, Muzikayise Malephane, is sending him threatening messages.

During his brief appearance on Friday, Shoba informed the court that he would launch a new bail application through his new legal team. 

It emerged on Tuesday that Shoba's previous lawyer, Shaddy Sithole, had withdrawn from the case.

The matter has been set down for trial in the high court on October 4.

Pule was eight months pregnant when she was found murdered, hanging from a tree, in June last year. The prosecution has led evidence that her unborn child was Shoba's.

It was unclear on Friday when the fresh bail application would be launched.

“We are doing OK, but you never know what to expect with Mr Shoba. Whatever he wants to do, we hope he does it before the 4th of October, that’s all,” Pule’s uncle Tumisang Katake said outside of proceedings.

Shoba's second bail application was denied by the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on May 7. At the time, magistrate Delize Smith said that most of the evidence offered was not entirely “new facts” and that it had been heard during his previous bail application.

During his previous appearance last week, Shoba made an application to remain in custody at a Krugersdorp police station. He claimed that he feared for his life after he became aware of alleged threats from Malephane.

Correctional officer Lesetja Masenya told the court on Tuesday that sentenced prisoners and awaiting trial detainees are kept in different buildings at the Johannesburg Prison. Shoba and Malephane therefore cannot meet or have access to each other.

The Roodepoort magistrate's court then made an order that he be detained at the Johannesburg Prison in a single cell.

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