On February 14, 2006, Melissa Shelver, 38 weeks pregnant, and David Best, the father of the fetus, visited her gynecologist. The examination revealed that the fetus was in good condition and that birth was imminent. After Ms. Shelver and Mr. Best left the gynecologist’s office and entered their car, Ludwe Mashumpa also entered the car, threatened the couple with a gun, and ordered Mr. Best to drive to an isolated area.  When the car stopped, Mr. Mashumpa and Mr. Best got out of the car, and Mr. Mashumpa shot Mr. Best in the shoulder.  Mr. Mashumpa then returned to the car and shot Ms. Shelver twice in her abdomen, took Mr. Best’s watch, wallet, and cell phone, but did not take any of Ms. Shelver’s items, and fled the area. Mr. Best got back into the car and drove to an emergency medical aid station where the couple were treated. However, the emergency medical aid station was unable to save the fetus, which, because of the incident, was stillborn.

It was discovered that the crime was instigated and planned by Mr. Best and Andile Tukani, and executed by Mr. Mashumpa, for personal reasons and to terminate the pregnancy. Mr. Best was shot in the shoulder so that he would appear to be a victim of the robbery.  The state charged Mr. Best and Mr. Mashumpa with the murder of the fetus, attempted murder of Ms. Shelver, and other crimes related to the incident.