Maqubela ignored religious values - State

2015-03-23 21:12
Thandi Maqubela (File: Sapa)

Thandi Maqubela (File: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela cannot be described as a highly religious woman who values herself and others, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo challenged the view of social worker Arina Smit that Maqubela being a Jehovah's Witness influenced how she lived her life.

Smit was called as a defence witness to testify in mitigation of sentence last week, presenting a report that recommended periodical imprisonment or a suspended sentence.

In November 2013, the same court found Maqubela guilty of killing her husband Patrick 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.

Smit was asked how she could describe Maqubela as a devout, religious individual when the court had found she had been deceptive on many occasions.

She replied that Maqubela had cognitive dissonance and told her that she had not lied to the court.

Currie-Gamwo said when Thandi and Patrick Maqubela first started dating, she had continued the relationship, despite knowing he was married and had two children. After they broke up, she had a child with a man she was not married to.

When the two reunited and married, her religion had allowed her to divorce him because he had been adulterous, yet she had not considered it an option.

The prosecutor questioned how sincere Maqubela's religious beliefs were.

She challenged the image of the devoted mother in light of her trying to defraud his children of their inheritance.

Smit said she had been referring to her religiosity in a more general sense and would need to re-visit her impression of Maqubela as a devoted mother.

It emerged that Smit had not corroborated Maqubela's assertion that her husband was an alcoholic.

Currie-Gamwo said Smit could thus not assume the relationship had alcohol-related marital dissatisfaction.

Smit conceded that a person who stayed with their husband's rotting body without reporting it could be considered vicious and deceptive.

Currie-Gamwo wondered why she had recommended that Maqubela was not a danger to society.

Smit eventually conceded that she could be a danger, within a certain context, because of a lack of empathy.

The prosecutor criticised her for not including the offences of murder, fraud and forgery in her report.

"Had you done so, you would have found anti-social characteristics."

She said Smit would have seen a pattern of re-offending, from the murder in June 2009, to the fraud and forgery in March 2010.

Smit said she had done the best with the short time available.

Cross-examination continues on Tuesday.

Read more on:    thandi maqubela  |  cape town  |  crime

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