Maqubela prints found near husband: report

By Drum Digital
05 September 2012

The thumb and palm prints of murder accused Thandi Maqubela were allegedly found on a piece of plastic in the flat where the body of her husband was discovered, the Star newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Maqubela is on trial with co-accused Vela Mabena in the Cape Town Labour Court for the murder of her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela.

According to the newspaper, prosecutors allege the plastic was used to smother Maqubela's husband.

On Tuesday, the State mostly focused on the plastic, on which it said the acting judge's DNA was also found.

The acting judge's body and the plastic was found in his Bantry Bay flat in Cape Town, with his body discovered on June 7, 2009, two days after he was allegedly killed.

Fingerprint expert Warrant Officer Barend Swanepoel testified on June 11, 2009, that he and his then-commander Colonel Pretorius found the piece of plastic in a bin in the main bedroom.

Swanepoel said he had found nine prints on the plastic, which had been crumpled up, with two of them belonging to Maqubela.

He said he had no doubt that the prints belonged to Maqubela. Who the seven other prints belonged to was still unknown.

Mabena's prints were taken by police, but none of his could be found at the flat.

Under cross-examination, Swanepoel said it was possible the fingerprints could have been lodged on the plastic when part of the original roll.

DNA analyst Warrant Officer Ridwaan Boltman, the second police witness, testified that he had found a "mixture" of DNA results on the plastic.

Following tests on two swabs taken, Boltman said each swab of the plastic contained DNA of a maximum of two people each. The acting judge's DNA was present, Maqubela's DNA was not present, and "pieces" of Mabena's DNA were present though not enough to prove the DNA was Mabena's.

The trial continues.

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