News24

Maquebela - doctor didn't exclude foul play

2011-11-15 22:32

Cape Town - A doctor felt foul play could not be excluded in the death of acting judge Patrick Maqubela, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

"Because of the blood I could not rule out foul play, but I did not suggest it to the police - I just did not want to be presumptuous," Dr Marshall Gobingca said.

The doctor was being cross-examined at the trial of the judge's widow, Thandi, and businessman Vela Mabena.

They have pleaded not guilty before judge John Murphy to charges of murdering Maqubela in June 2009.

The widow has also pleaded not guilty to forging her dead husband's will, and fraudulently presenting it at the South Gauteng office of the Master of the High Court.

Gobingca, in his 20s, had been friends with the Maqubelas while they lived in Johannesburg.

At the request of the Maqubela family, he went to the judge's residence at The President Suites in Bantry Bay, Cape Town, to establish his whereabouts in June 2009.

Defence lawyer Marius Broeksma, representing the widow, started the cross-examination and was followed by attorney Randall Titus, for Mabena.

Gobingca said he had been a medical practitioner for a short while in Durban, after which he had gone to Johannesburg as a consultant on HIV Aids.

Titus questioned Gobingca about a sworn statement that he made to police.

According to Titus, Gobingca told the police that he had gone to The President Suites, on June 7, where he had asked security guard Mark Benjamin if Benjamin had seen the judge.

Benjamin's reply was that he had "buzzed" the judge at 11:00 on June 5, about a visitor.

Prosecutors Bonnie Currie-Gamwo and Pedro van Wyk argue the judge was murdered on June 5 2009.

Gobingca replied: "If it's in my statement, then that's what I said to the police."

Titus said: "Benjamin said this happened about 10:00, and not 11:00."

Gobingca replied: "Benjamin will have a better recall of it than me, so I accept what he says because I cannot accurately recollect the times that things happened.

"You must appreciate that a lot was happening at the time."

The trial continues.