News24

Judge's murder accused get bail

2010-04-01 14:17

Cape Town - The two people accused of the murder of acting judge Patrick Maqubela have both been granted bail - but for amounts they say they cannot afford.

Maqubela's widow Thandi, 55, was granted R100 000 bail by a Cape Town magistrate on Thursday.

However her advocate, Kenny Oldwadge, had told the court that she had only R70 000 available.

And in an unusual move magistrate Vusi Mhlanga granted co-accused Vela Mabena, 47, bail of R50 000, then immediately reduced it to R20 000 after a protest from Mabena's advocate.

The advocate Reuben Liddell had earlier told Mhlanga his client could afford only R10 000.

Maqubela was found dead in his Cape Town flat in June last year.

State didn't oppose bail

Earlier, the State said it would not oppose bail. Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo told the court at the start of their bail application that the State did not believe they would try to evade their trial. She said Maqubela, a businesswoman, was firmly rooted in South Africa with immovable assets throughout the country.

"I understand that the value of these assets runs into millions," Currie-Gamwo said.

Maqubela had already handed her passport to the police.
Mabena was self employed and reliant on his freedom to earn his keep.

Currie-Gamwo said the earliest trial date available in the Western Cape High Court was August 1, 2011.

Denies wrongdoing

In an affidavit read out in court by her advocate, Maqubela denied any wrongdoing in regard to her husband's death, which according to an independent post-mortem she commissioned, had been due to natural causes.

"I do not believe that I can be convicted thereof," she said.

"I am confident that the State case against me is non-existent."

The hearing continues.