Tshegofatso Pule’s family say the past two years have been an emotional roller coaster and now that Ntuthuko Shoba has been sentenced, they can finally begin the healing process.
Shoba was jailed for life in the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday. He was convicted of masterminding Pule’s murder in 2020. At the time, she was eight months pregnant.
Pule’s uncle, Tumisang Katake, said: “It felt like we were burying Tshegofatso in the yard again. But I guess from here on out we have to put this thing behind us and start the healing process. I have to be honest, this case has affected me personally, professionally and emotionally. We have many questions left. And the answers, only Ntutuko can answer these questions.
A lesser sentence
On Thursday, Shoba’s lawyer, Norman Makhubele, asked the High Court not to sentence him to life imprisonment or to any punishment that could be considered cruel or inhuman.
He leaned on the 20-year sentence handed down to hitman Malepan, saying Shoba should receive a similar sentence rather than life in prison.
However, the state said there were no exceptional circumstances that would require the court to deviate from prescribing the maximum sentence.
State prosecutor Fagre Mohamed emphasized that Pule is pregnant and respects Shoba. However, he took advantage of her vulnerability and violated that trust by hiring someone to kill her.
In the video below, reporter Hasina Ghori reveals Thursday’s court proceedings: