• Micara Rooplall

The Brutal Murder of Tshegofatso Pule: Violence is the Problem - Not the Solution

On the morning of the 8th of June 2020, South Africans sadly woke up to the devastating news of Tshegofatso Pule’s brutal murder. Tshegofatso Pule, a 28-year-old pregnant woman, was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort, Johannesburg. She was said to be missing for four days before she was found with several stab wounds in her chest and left hanging from a tree. She was eight months pregnant with a baby girl when she was found dead.

(Nhlapo, 2020).

Mzikayise Malephane, a 31-year-old man, confessed to the immoral act of killing her, stating that he would be paid R70 000 for committing this deed. According to a police statement, the perpetrators behind her murder had staged an Uber ride for her, which ended in them stabbing her to death. Malephane appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court and is currently awaiting trial.

Tshegofatso Pule’s funeral took place on Thursday, the 11th of June, in Meadowlands, Soweto. Her aunt, Pricilla Giwu, addressed the mourners present at the funeral and begged society to end gender-based violence. Tshegofatso Pule’s tragic story has triggered many emotions of heartache and despondency in in the community and the country of South Africa at large.

This incident has resulted in many distraught people taking to social media, using the #JusticeForTshego to spread much-needed awareness about gender-based violence in the country. People are voicing their opinions and disappointment and condemning this heinous crime. Last year saw dramatic action from the South African public in terms of protests and call for action to government after the death Uyinene Mrwetyana. Pule’s death has once again ignited conversations on the topic of gender-based violence and will hopefully lead to visible action from the government of South Africa.

As a society, people need to reflect on their value systems and question why there are so many wrongful acts being committed towards women and innocent children, in South Africa and the entire world. People need to go start respecting and accepting each other’s differences. The norms of behaviour to which boys are exposed from a young age play a vital role in shaping them into adults. Therefore, older generations in communities need to lead by example, so that boys and men in South Africa are well-educated on the topic of gender equality and mutual respect from a young age.

Justice shall be served for Tshegofatso Pule and she will forever be remembered as one of the many women in South Africa who have dreadfully fallen victim to gender-based violence. Gender equality is not a woman’s issue; it is a human issue.

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