Maqubela not a flight risk: Lawyer

By Drum Digital
05 December 2013

Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela will not evade justice ahead of her sentencing next year: Lawyer.

Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela will not evade justice ahead of her sentencing next year, her lawyer told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Arguing for her release on bail, Marius Broeksma told Judge John Murphy she was not a flight risk and that her passport was being held by the investigating team. One had only to look at her conduct when judgment was handed down last month to see she would abide by any bail conditions, as she had then, he said. "Even before the final day, the court made several adverse or strong findings against my client.... Instead of running away, she returned each day until the very end." Broeksma said it would be difficult for Maqubela to run and hide, because her photo had been widely published in numerous newspapers.

"She is a well-known person in the whole of the country. To suggest she could in any way seek to hide-out in such remote corners of South Africa is highly improbable."

Last month, Maqubela 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 her conduct, a plethora of lies and her persistence in "irrational subterfuge", which was wholly incompatible with an innocent person.

The court found that 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.

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".

Sentencing proceedings for Maqubela were to have started at the end of November, but were postponed because the defence needed more time to find a clinical psychologist.

The court granted a postponement until February 17.

-by Sapa

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