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Africa News Wed, 17 Jun 2020

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Tshegofatso Pule killing: South African man on murder charge

A 31-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a South African woman whose stabbed body was found hanging from a tree last week.

Twenty-eight-year-old Tshegofatso Pule was eight months pregnant.

Mzikayise Malephane appeared in court and was charged with premeditated murder.

After her death, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the culture of silence around gender-based violence had to end.

Ms Pule went missing on 4 June and four days later a member of the public found her body in the Johannesburg suburb of Roodepoort.

She was hanging from a tree and had been stabbed through the chest.

There was a wave of outrage in South Africa after Ms Pule's death and the hashtag #JusticeForTshego trended on Twitter.

What happened in court?

Mr Malephane was arrested on Monday and appeared in court on Wednesday.

In the short appearance he was not asked to plead, reports the newspaper The Sowetan.

The case has been postponed until 24 June to allow him to get legal representation.

The authorities have not revealed if he was known to the deceased.

The police have appealed to the public to assist with the investigation - they suspect that more people were involved.

'Men need to be part of the solution'

The past few days have been difficult for the women of South Africa.

At a time when the nation's focus has been on containing the spread of coronavirus, the gruesome murders of women like Tshegofatso Pule have been a harsh reminder of the daily violence women face here.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described gender-based violence as the shame of the nation.

His government has in the last few months channeled more resources towards the fight.

Some of the extra funding has gone towards training the police, some towards special sexual offenses courts.

But advocates say there should be more focus placed on prevention and, for that, attitudes towards women need to change.

That is something that will need more than hashtags and protests, it needs men to be part of the solution, they say.

Source: bbc.com

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