Tshegofatso Pule, 28, who was found stabbed and hanged from a tree in a veld in Roodepoort on Monday, was laid to rest on Thursday
She was eight months pregnant when she was murdered.
Pule’s brutal death caused outrage on social media and the hashtag #JusticeForTshego was trending on Twitter on Monday. The story made headlines internationally.
Her family said they were hurt by her death and the “horrific” scene where she was found.
She was last seen last Thursday night when she left her home in Meadowlands, Soweto, to visit her boyfriend.
A relative told The Sowetan that Pule called the family and said she had had an argument with her boyfriend, who then called a taxi for her. Neither she nor her boyfriend could be reached after that call.
“This is a triple tragedy for the family,” says Nkateko Mabindisa, Director and Co-founder of Vuyo’s Funerals, which handled the arrangements.
“Tshego’s uncle, Tumisang Katake, told mourners that he had heard of his niece’s death and the death of the baby she was carrying just two days after he had buried a cousin who had been killed by the man who was meant to protect her.”
To honour the life of Tshego Pule and the lives of the many other women who have died in a similar way, Vuyo’s Funerals handled all of the arrangements for her funeral and burial at no cost to the family.
No one has been arrested yet
Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said a case of murder was being investigated. No one has been arrested or taken in for questioning.
“[Pule] was found by a member of the community hanging from a tree, who then notified the police. The deceased is also confirmed to be pregnant. Suspects are unknown at the moment but the investigations are under way.”
Uncle speaks out
“I don’t want to get into details [about] how horrific the scene was. It hurts as a family, we don’t want to relive those moments. We want to put those things behind us. We are satisfied with the investigations and have been briefed by the police.
“Any question that has to do [with] how we feel, how she was found, I am not going to answer that. Any question whether we suspect that her boyfriend is behind the murder, I am not going to answer that as we are not involved in the investigations,” Pule’s uncle, Tumisang Katake, said on Tuesday.
Mazibuko & Lesufi visited the family on Tuesday
Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and Acting Social Development MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited Pule’s family in Soweto on Tuesday. Mazibuko said they were disturbed that gender-based violence (GBV) continued unabated and women were suffering.
“We call upon members of the community to help us to bring an end to such atrocities against women, the worse being young women. We call on all males to say not in their name that they will see women being abused.
“Let it be them who champion such campaigns. It can’t be right that [it’s] always us women standing in the streets singing, going to courts while perpetrators stand there and watch,” said Mazibuko.
She called on people to use various social media platforms to fight GBV.
“As the provincial government, we are gradually changing our policies. Gone are the days where abused women run to shelters with children, looking for shelter. It must be men that go into shelters.
“Perpetrators must be the ones going to shelters and women left at home looking after children,” said Mazibuko.
On Wednesday, the community of Meadowlands in Soweto held a candlelight memorial in Pule’s honour.
Katake urged people who wished to attend the funeral to adhere to the lockdown regulations.