No surprise that judge was killed: State

By Drum Digital
07 October 2013

It is not surprising that acting judge Patrick Maqubela was killed, the Western Cape High Court heard.

It is not surprising that acting judge Patrick Maqubela was killed, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday. Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo said events in the first week of June 2009 paved the way for his death. She was delivering closing arguments in his wife's trial, who is charged with murder, forgery, and fraud. Her co-accused, her business associate Vela Mabena, is charged only with murder. Currie-Gamwo said the acting judge's marriage to his estranged wife Thandi Maqubela was in a "dire state" because of his infidelity. He informed his financial adviser on June 4, 2009, to draft a settlement agreement, for the purposes of separation.

Thandi Maqubela made it clear she would not divorce because she was a Jehovah's Witness. She apparently approached the media with proof of his infidelity, but they decided not to run the story because of legal implications.

She discussed her husband's conduct with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, which would likely have had implications on his post as an acting judge in the Western Cape High Court.

"It is the State's submission that it is no surprise that he died, that he was killed that Friday [June 5]. If you look at that week, it all boiled down to that point," Currie-Gamwo said.

"She had now crushed any hope he had of becoming a [permanent] judge."

Currie-Gamwo said the judge applied for a Liberty Life policy in April 2009, with his estate as the beneficiary, and it was granted at the end of May.

"My submission, therefore, is that there is a monetary incentive in respect of accused one [Maqubela], in respect of the deceased's death."

Maqubela stands accused of forging her deceased husband's signature on his will and fraudulently presenting it at the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court.

Maqubela's body was found in his luxury Bantry Bay apartment on June 7, 2009. The State alleges the judge was suffocated on his bed.

-by Sapa

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