Maqubela sentencing arguments postponed

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Sentencing proceedings against convicted killer Thandi Maqubela were postponed by the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Her lawyer Marius Broeksma asked for a postponement until February 17.

“On behalf of the accused, I formally apply for a postponement in the matter to present expert evidence on sentencing,” he said.

He told Judge John Murphy he had been unable to find a clinical psychologist because of the time of year. Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo had no objection to the postponement.

She said that while the trial had taken a long time, she had sympathy for the defence’s quandary. Maqubela would remain in custody.

She was found guilty of killing her husband Patrick, an acting judge, on June 5, 2009. Murphy convicted her despite not having conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause of death.

He said death from natural causes or suicide was excluded primarily by Thandi Maqubela’s conduct, a plethora of lies and her persistence in “irrational subterfuge”, which was wholly incompatible with an innocent person.

The court found Patrick Maqubela’s serial adultery had brought the relationship to an explosive point in 2009. He was in a distressed state and confided to others the day before he was killed, on June 4, 2009, that he wanted to divorce his wife.

She was also found guilty of forging her husband’s will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice to his estate. Murphy said it was unlikely Patrick Maqubela would have left almost his entire estate to his wife, and disinherited some of his children, when considering the state of his marriage.

Maqubela’s co-accused and former business colleague, Vela Mabena, was acquitted on the murder charge because the evidence against him was not as strong.

The State had not proved his involvement beyond reasonable doubt and the acquittal was based on a finding of “not proven” rather than “factual innocence”.


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