Gauteng police have arrested Tshegofatso Pule’s boyfriend as the court heard that her killer, Muzikayise Malephane, had been paid R70 000 to kill the heavily pregnant woman.
Johannesburg – Gauteng police have arrested Tshegofatso Pule’s boyfriend in connection with the murder of the Soweto woman.
The heavily pregnant woman was stabbed to death and found hanging in a tree in Roodepoort, to the west of Johannesburg, in June.
On Friday, her killer, Muzikayise Malephane, pleaded guilty to murder at the South Gauteng High Court and was sentenced to 20 years after he told the court he had been offered R70 000 to murder Pule, who was allegedly pregnant with his child.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said a 32-year-old suspect was arrested in Florida on Thursday night.
“A 32-year-old suspect was arrested at his residence on Thursday evening, February 18, on suspicion of being an accomplice in the murder of Tshegofatso Pule who was killed in June last year,” she said.
Peters said the suspect was expected to appear at the Roodepoort Magistrates Court on Monday.
According to reports, Pule had last been seen leaving the suspect’s house before she went missing, before she was subsequently found dead.
At the time, the suspect, who works as an analyst for the JSE, told the Sunday Times: “I thought I should get an attorney because she was last seen leaving my place”.
His father had confirmed to the newspaper that his son was expecting a child with the deceased after they had a ’fling’.
Meanwhile, Malephane implicated the suspect in Pule’s murder, when he told the court that the suspect had offered him up to R70 000 to kill the Soweto woman.
He claimed Pule’s lover had first offered him R7 000 to kill Pule as he did not want his wife to know he had impregnated her.
However, Malephane said he declined and the man increased the amount to R20 000, but he still rejected it as he felt it was too little.
It was only after the man upped the offer to R70 000 that he agreed to kill Pule. Malephane, from Zondi, Soweto, stabbed and hanged her.
He was arrested while travelling from Mpumalanga in July after a manhunt had been launched.
When Malephane made his first appearance in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court, he could not stop crying as he sat in the dock.
A few days later, during a bail application, he refused the services of a Legal Aid lawyer and the matter was postponed to allow him to secure private representation.
Malephane later abandoned his bail application and remained behind bars until the matter went to trial.
Pule, 28, had reportedly last been seen alive while getting into a metered taxi which her boyfriend had summoned for her two weeks earlier. Her body, riddled with stab wounds, was later found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep, Roodepoort.