Maqubela lying affects her credibility - Judge

By Drum Digital
05 November 2013

Thandi Maqubela lied about details of her husband's death and this affected her credibility.

Thandi Maqubela lied about details of her husband's death and this affected her credibility, Western Cape High Court Judge John Murphy said.

He found that she was in possession of acting Judge Patrick Maqubela's cellphone from the Friday in 2009 when he was believed to have died, until the following Monday.

Murphy said she had led the court to believe that a policeman, who wanted to blackmail her husband, took his phone and placed it in a jacket pocket in his flat to be discovered by police that Monday.

"We reject this hypothesis as a falsehood concocted by accused one [Maqubela] to avoid culpability," Murphy said in his long judgment.

He said her testimony was contradicted by cellphone records, which showed that three of her cellphones activated the same base stations or those near her husband's phone in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and the Eastern Cape in that period.

She and her co-accused Vela Mabena have pleaded not guilty to suffocating Patrick Maqubela with cling-wrap in his Sea Point, Cape Town, flat on 5 June 2009.

She has also denied guilt on fraud and forgery charges related to a document she claims is her husband's will.

Murphy said that had Maqubela had an innocent use for her husband's phone, she would have told the police the Monday it was discovered. Instead, she hid her use of the phone from police.

Murphy said this "persistent denial" affected her credibility, showed she was given easily to lying under oath and had unrealistic expectations that a court might believe her "flagrant lies".

"Much will depend on the circumstances. There may be reasons for telling a lie other than realisations of guilt."

The court found that Maqubela had lied about her intention to travel to the Eastern Cape on the Friday of her husband's death.

The judgment continues.

- SAPA

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