Murderer Ntuthuko Shoba applies for leave to appeal

Murderer Ntuthuko Shoba, who is serving a life sentence, has applied for leave to appeal his sentence and conviction.
Murderer Ntuthuko Shoba, who is serving a life sentence, has applied for leave to appeal his sentence and conviction.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Convicted killer Ntuthuko Shoba, who is serving a life sentence, will on Monday hear a decision on his leave to appeal application at the Johannesburg high court.

Shoba was jailed for the premeditated murder of his pregnant girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule, which he orchestrated with the help of an acquaintance.

Pule, 28, from Soweto, was eight months pregnant when she was shot dead. Her bloodstained body was found hanging from a tree in the Durban Deep area of Roodepoort in June 2020. A rope had been tied around her neck and looped over a branch and her body hoisted aloft.

Shoba was not in court for the application on Friday.

His lawyer, Louis Bernard, based his appeal argument on CCTV footage of the night Pule was killed.

The footage, which formed part of evidence submitted by the defence, showed he was outside with Pule for three minutes when she was collected by her killer, who she thought was an Uber driver.

Bernard told the court that another court could come to a different conclusion about the murder conviction and sentence.

“The timeframe was not three minutes, but substantially less,” said Bernard.

He said there are discrepancies between the pictures from the footage and the video. The few minutes are not enough for Shoba to have facilitated the murder on that night.

CCTV cameras captured images of Pule leaving Shoba’s apartment block in a grey Jeep on June 4, 2020. She was not seen again until her corpse was found four days later.

Shoba was caught after the hitman he hired, Muzikayise Malephane, was arrested.

Malephane confessed to the crime and implicated Shoba as the mastermind, saying he had wanted Pule killed because he was afraid his fiancée would find out about his affair with her. Malephane pleaded guilty to the murder and is serving a 20-year sentence.

Shoba was convicted in March after damning evidence was presented by police, including cellphone records which showed he had called Malephane 23 times on the day Pule went missing and the hitman's testimony that they had made an earlier attempt to kill her.

The court had previously criticised Shoba for not being able to explain what he was doing outside for three minutes.

Judge Stuart Wilson reserved the decision for Monday.


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