Social worker back in court in Maqubela case

FILE PICTURE: Thandi Maqubela appears at the Cape Town High Court. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lulama Zenzile)

Social worker Arina Smit is expected back in the dock of the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday in the mitigation of sentence of convicted killer Thandi Maqubela.

Smit on Monday gave evidence that Maqubela’s affiliation to the Jehovah’s Witness church influenced how she lived her life. Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo asked Smit how she could describe Maqubela as a devout, religious individual when the court had found she had been deceptive on many occasions.

She replied that Maqubela had cognitive dissonance and told her that she had not lied to the court. Last week, Smit recommended that Maqubela, who was found guilty in 2013 of her husband’s murder, be handed a suspended sentence or periodical imprisonment.

Under cross-examination on Monday, however, Smit conceded that Maqubela could be a danger to society, within a certain context, because of a lack of empathy. Maqubela’s husband, Judge Patrick Maqubela, who presided over the Western Cape High Court, was found murdered in 2009.

She was also found guilty of forging his will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice in his estate.

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