Social Worker describes Maqubela's life

By Drum Digital
18 March 2015

Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela strove for the perfect marriage based on religious ideals, a social worker told the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

"The marriage that the accused saw and how she perceived her parents' marriage was that of a religious sanctioned unity which needed to be kept sacred," defence witness Arina Smit said.

"She expressed in a sense that that became an ideal and a value of hers."

Smit said Maqubela had questioned her marriage to her acting judge husband Patrick Maqubela but placed her ideal of a religious sanctioned marriage before her needs.

"To this end it would have been that the accused would have suppressed the reality of her fear that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.

"It is inevitable that this [cognitive] dissonance would erupt to the surface at some point in time."

Thomas Tyler, for Maqubela, had called Smit to the stand in mitigation of sentence.

She has worked for the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Re-integration of Offenders (Nicro) for 18 years.

Smit said while a strong religious inclination could encourage rules, norms, and values, it could lead to a clash between values and reality. This led to a conflict over how a person needed to deal with a problem.

"In the face of a trigger, an active impulse would be very real."

Last November, the same court found Maqubela guilty of killing Patrick Maqubela in June 2009, despite not having conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause of death.

She was found guilty of forging her husband's will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice to his estate.

The acting judge was based at the Western Cape High Court at the time of his death.

Smit detailed the history of the marriage, indicating that it was based on secrecy and ambivalence.

Thandi Maqubela often questioned whether to continue the relationship and her parents also disapproved of the union.

Smit said the death of Thandi Maqubela's mother six months before the offence was devastating on many levels but she had remained strong on the outside for her children.

Maqubela's defence asked Smit to compile a pre-sentencing report a week ago to help the court arrive at an appropriate sanction.

Her 50-page report and CV were handed up to Judge John Murphy.

The report was based on three face-to-face interviews with Maqubela, interviews with her family and collateral information from other documents.

Smit said Maqubela came over as truthful, somewhat confused because of stress, and able to connect emotionally once she let her guard down a bit.

Source : Sapa

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