These images show the moment the man suspected of murdering the 8-month-pregnant woman found stabbed and hanged from a tree appears in tears in court and attempting to cover his face.
Suspect Muzikayise Malephane ,31, was arrested on Monday and accused of killing heavily pregnant Tshegofatso Pule, 28, who was found hanged from a tree in a field in Durban Deep in the municipality of Roodepoort near Johannesburg in the South African province of Gauteng.
Local media report Malephane “quietly wept” as he was called to the stand by magistrate Job Baloyi and images show him trying to cover his face with a grey beanie.
The suspect refused to apply for bail but he did request legal aid representation after he was charged with premeditated murder.
The case has been postponed until Wednesday 24th June when the proceedings will be heard by videoconference, not in court.
Local resident Tshepo Bodibe, who was one of those who found Pule’s body, told local media: “I only see these things on TV. Seeing a pregnant woman hanging from a tree murdered, that was traumatising for me. I’ll be happy when justice is served.”
The victim’s uncle Tumisang Katake thanked the police for their work and said the family were “preparing themselves for a difficult journey ahead”.
He said the suspect was not known to the family and Malephane was remanded in custody.
Pule, who worked as a make-up artist and dreamed of studying marketing, was recently laid to rest by devastated family members.
No motive has been provided for the crime as of yet.
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