Judge’s wife remains behind bars

2010-03-30 12:09

Judge Patrick Maqubela’s widow Thandi, who is accused of murdering

her husband last year, will remain behind bars following the postponement of her

bail application in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Thandi Maqubela (55) was arrested in her Sandton, Johannesburg home

on Thursday last week, while her co-accused, Vela Mabena (45) was arrested at

his Cape Town home the following day.

The application was postponed after a brief appearance at the Cape

Town Magistrate’s Court because “certain information must be followed up and

statements obtained from the accused by the police”, said state prosecutor

Bonnie Currie-Gamwo.

Acting Cape High Court Judge Maqubela (60) was found dead on his

bed in his Bantry Bay flat in Cape Town in June last year.

Police at first believed he had died of a heart attack but later

opened a murder docket after postmortem results proved inconclusive.

Maqubela was apparently found wrapped in a sheet and there were

blood stains on a pillow. The cause of death remains unknown.

Thandi’s defence representative, advocate Kenny Oldwadge, told the

court his client was ready for bail proceedings, but was prepared to wait until

Thursday after the state indicated that “it needed more time to assess certain


Oldwadge asked the court that Thandi continue being detained at the

Sea Point police station instead of Pollsmor prison, as it would make it easier

to consult with her and for her to obtain medication for a heart


While awaiting the outcome of the bail application, Mabena, who is

being represented by Zaheer Karijiker, is being detained at the Claremont police


Part of the reason for the postponement was that Oldwage needed to

access his client’s statements as these had been taken by police before he was

appointed to represent her.

He said he was expecting the state to give him the charge sheet on

Thursday morning.

Taking the stand for the first time since she was arrested, Thandi,

dressed in black, appeared confused.

Court orderlies had to tell her more than once where to stand in

the dock. At one point, she caught the eye of her daughter sitting in the press

benches, and waved.

Judge Maqubela’s previous wife and her children were also in court,

but refused to speak to the media.

– West Cape News

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