Maqubela pretended her husband was alive

By Drum Digital
05 November 2013

Thandi Maqubela created the impression that her husband was alive when she knew he was dead, Judge John Murphy said.

Thandi Maqubela created the impression that her husband was alive when she knew he was dead, Judge John Murphy said in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Handing down a lengthy judgment, he said this was one of the legitimate inferences drawn from pieces of evidence and false accounts of her movements.

Murphy said the description of her activities on June 5, 2009, given in police statements and in testimony, was inconsistent with the mapping of her cellphone signals by an expert.

"Her two versions are so at odds that both can be rejected as untrue."

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

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

Murphy listed the other inferences that could be drawn from Thandi Maqubela's "patent dishonesty" of her whereabouts that day.

He said she had no intention of flying to Qumbu in the Eastern Cape with her husband that day, but sought to create that false impression to the police and other people.

"She knew by midday that the deceased was incapacitated or dead in the apartment," Murphy said. He said it could be inferred that she was in the apartment with his body, hid the fact that he was dead, and "took steps to create the impression" that he was alive when she knew he was not. On Monday, Murphy said the judgment was over 220-pages long. It contained complex issues of facts and law and would take two to three days to read out. He asked the media to be prudent in this time and to avoid reaching preliminary conclusions "because the judgment is so complexand there are so many factual findings to be made".

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