Pregnant South African woman, 28, found dead, hanging in tree

Tshegofatso Pule
Tshegofatso Pule

The body of a young, pregnant South African woman was found Monday hanging in a tree outside Johannesburg following her disappearance late last week.
The stabbed body of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule, who was eight months pregnant, was found Monday in a tree in Roodepoort, about 15 miles northwest of Johannesburg, local newspaper, Sowetan Live, reported Tuesday.
Pule, from Meadowlands, Soweto — about nine miles from the crime scene — was last seen Thursday night when she told family she went to see her boyfriend, who lives in Florida, about six miles south in the nearby province of Gauteng. A relative said she was spotted getting into an Uber ordered by the boyfriend.
A community member found Pule “hanging from a tree” before alerting authorities, Gauteng Police spokesman Capt. Kay Makhubele told Sowetan, adding the victim “is also confirmed to be pregnant.”
No suspects have been named and an investigation is underway.
The relative said Pule called the family saying she and her boyfriend had fought and she was returning home. The family couldn’t reach her between Friday and Sunday and her phone was off, the family member said.
On Sunday, after trying and failing to reach Pule’s boyfriend, her family decided to open a missing person’s case, the relative said.
“We cannot speculate about what led to her death, but we know things were not well with her boyfriend,” the family member said. “His wife also knew about Tshego and she was always fighting with her.”
Pule’s death has sparked outrage on Twitter in South Africa and prompted the hashtag #JusticeForTshego, BBC News reports.
“Can we have the same commitment from our Justice system to finding Tshego’s killer as they did in finding alcohol traders during lockdown,” tweeted one user.
"Bring back the death sentence for whoever is responsible for her death. This is absolutely sick,” tweeted another.
Last year, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa dubbed the country one of “the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman.”
Also in 2019, crime statistics showed that 2,930 adult women in South Africa had been murdered during a 12-month span from 2017 to 2018 — about one murder per three hours.

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