Judge's widow denies knowing of his death

2013-04-11 21:15
Thandi Maqubela (File: Die Burger)

Thandi Maqubela (File: Die Burger)

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Cape Town - Judge Patrick Maqubela's widow Thandi has denied knowing her husband was dead the day she went to Cape Town International Airport to meet him.

Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo put this proposition to her on Thursday in the Western Cape High Court, where she is on trial for her husband's death.

"I put it to you that you... had had no intention that day of meeting him at the airport. When you left your husband in the apartment that morning, he was already dead."

Maqubela replied: "That is not true, but maybe someone was shadowing me. I do not know."

Maqubela has been under intense cross-examination the whole week.

Most of the questions focused on cellphone "mapping", and records of calls and SMS messages and their content.

Her husband was an acting judge in the Western Cape High Court at the time of his death.

Mapping technology can show where a particular cellphone is at any given time of the day or night. If, for instance, a cellphone is in Sandton, Johannesburg, it will trigger a cellphone base station in the vicinity, indicating that whoever has the cellphone is in the area.

Maqubela claimed that on 5 June 2009, the day her husband was allegedly murdered, she left their Bantry Bay apartment early in the morning.

She was to meet him at the airport at midday, when they would take a flight together to their second home in the Eastern Cape.

She claimed her husband did not arrive and that he also failed to respond to several SMS messages from her asking where he was.

Currie-Gamwo said according to records of the trigger process, the judge's cellphone was not in the apartment, but was either in his wife's possession, or that of someone near to her.

This suggested either that someone was following her, or that she knowingly had her husband's cellphone in her possession at the airport.

"What strikes me about all the SMS messages between you and your husband, is that your SMS messages to him are in cellphone shorthand [with] the use of the digit '2' in place of the word to, for example, whereas your husband's SMSes contained proper language and full sentences."

Maqubela replied: "I don't think so."

Currie-Gamwo suggested Maqubela had used her deceased husband's cellphone to send an SMS to their children in Johannesburg on the day of his alleged murder, giving the children the impression the messages had come from him, when in fact he was dead.

"You sent the SMS messages yourself, with his cellphone, didn't you?" Currie-Gamwo asked.

Maqubela replied: "I did not."

The trial continues on Monday.

Read more on:    thandi maqubela  |  patrick maqubela  |  cape town

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