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Johannesburg – It was a bitterly sweet moment for the family of slain Tshegofatso Pule to see the supposed mastermind of her gruesome death hanging from the dock eight months ago. A 32-year-old JSE analyst, Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba, made a brief appearance on Monday at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court. He faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Clad in black, Shoba kept the dock with a confident and calm figure. Without any qualms, he posed for the media cameras. The developments were “a sense of relief yes; for his arrest” Uncle Tumisang Katake of Pule said. But he said it also indicated the emotional wounds were being opened up again. “It’s reopening of old wounds that were beginning to heal,”It’s the reopening of old wounds that were beginning to heal.

“This one is worse because we’ve long had our suspicions and they were confirmed on Friday.” The suspicions to which Katake referred were that her killing was masterminded by Shoba, who was the boyfriend of the 28-year-old pregnant Pule. After a community member found the lifeless body of Pule hanging in the veld at Durban Deep in Roodepoort, this narrative began to mill around.

After a “e-hailing” vehicle picked her up from Shoba’s Florida flat, she went missing. In a plea bargain statement last Friday, Muzikayise Malephane, the Soweto man who hanged Pule, admitted that he drove the car. This was part of his Shoba plot to kill Pule, who was eight months pregnant, he said. Malephane told the Shoba State that he wanted Pule dead because he didn’t want to let his wife know about her pregnancy.

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