New defence team delays Maqubela sentencing

2014-02-20 13:55
Thandi Maqubela (Picture: Sapa)

Thandi Maqubela (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Thandi Maqubela's sentencing for killing her acting judge husband Patrick Maqubela was postponed on Thursday.

Western Cape High Court Judge John Murphy "regrettably" granted the postponement for sentencing until 4 August, following the appointment of a new defence team.

He asked her new team to inform him within the next two weeks whether it would be possible to bring the sentencing forward to 29 May, depending on their schedule.

Earlier this week, private lawyer Christiaan Bosman appeared on behalf of Maqubela after she sacked Legal Aid lawyer Marius Broeksma, who defended her throughout the trial.

Bosman was standing in for defence lawyer Kenny Oldwage, who is set to represent murder accused paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria next month.

Guilty verdict

In November, Murphy found Maqubela guilty of her husband's death in his Cape Town apartment on 5 June 2009, despite not having conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause.

At the time, Murphy said death from natural causes or suicide was excluded primarily by her conduct, a plethora of lies and her persistence in "irrational subterfuge", which was wholly incompatible with an innocent person.

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

In an affidavit on Thursday, the instructing attorney in the matter gave an undertaking to the High Court that Maqubela had provided sufficient funds to cover legal expenses.

Murphy was satisfied with the undertaking and formally excused a relieved-looking Broeksma from the courtroom.

In a separate affidavit read out in court, Legal Aid principal Cobus Esterhuizen said he accepted and respected Maqubela's decision to terminate and said she could apply for their services in the future should she wish to do so.

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