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Threats, a bizarre job offer: friend tells of Tshegofatso Pule’s last weeks alive

Tsita and Pule were childhood friends who lived within walking distance of each other. So close were the two that Pule would share the messages between herself and Shoba with Tsita, and Shoba would also use Tsita’s number to send Pule cash.

Tsita conceded that Pule was financially dependent on Shoba after resigning from her job as a makeup artist several months earlier.

Tsita recalled how, among other things, Pule shared with her some disturbing messages she received.

“Tshegofatso started getting threatening messages from a woman; threats that she [the woman] would come to her workplace. The threats were that she should leave [this woman’s] man alone. She said she would come to her workplace and deal with her. She said she is HIV positive and that Tshegofatso must go get tested.

“Tshegofatso then blocked the number,” Tsita said.

Tsita said that on May 29 2020 — a week before Pule’s death — in the middle of SA’s hard Covid-19 lockdown, Pule got a strange offer for a makeup job. The job was to allow the heavily pregnant mother to work from home.

She said that a woman — named either Zanele or Zandile — sent a message asking for an interview for around 11am or midday at the McDonald’s in Ormonde.

“She was to be there for two hours,” said Tsita. “Tshego didn’t go. I said to her that its strange that an interview is being held at McDonald’s during lockdown. No sit-ins were allowed.”

On the day of the proposed interview, the person again texted Pule, saying she was running late.

The person said Pule should instead wait opposite the McDonald’s where a Jeep would be waiting for her and the driver was already there, Tsita testified.

Pule did not go, she reiterated.



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