Defence closes its case in Thandi Maqubela trial

2013-08-20 16:53

The defence closed its case in the Western Cape High Court trial of Thandi Maqubela, accused of killing her husband, acting Judge Patrick Maqubela.

Maqubela is charged with murder, forgery and fraud. On the latter two charges she allegedly forged her deceased husband’s signature on his will and fraudulently presented it at the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court.

Her co-accused, her business associate Vela Mabena, is charged only with murder.

At today’s proceedings before Judge John Murphy, Marius Broeksma, for Maqubela, presented the testimony of his client’s brother, Zuko Ndlebe. Ndlebe corroborated Maqubela’s earlier testimony that a police official based in Johannesburg tried to extort money from the deceased.

He also corroborated evidence that cars had been seen on two different occasions at the judge’s Sandton, Johannesburg, home, and that both cars sped away when Ndlebe approached.

Broeksma told the court that Ndlebe was the final witness to testify for the defence.

Maqubela’s body was found in his luxury Bantry Bay apartment on June 6 2009. The state alleges the judge was suffocated on his bed on June 5, the day before his body was found.

Murphy recently ordered the indictment changed to state that he was murdered by placing a piece of plastic clingwrap over his nose or “by any other means unknown to the state”.

Randall Titus, for Mabena, closed his case today without leading Mabena’s evidence.

Closing argument will be presented on October 7.

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