Prosecutors want Maqubela’s bail revoked

2011-08-11 14:39

The State is to lead evidence in the Western Cape High Court for the cancellation of bail granted to the widow of slain Judge Patrick Maqubela.

This emerged in proceedings in the high court today.

Thandi Maqubela appeared before Judge John Murphy for a second time since her recent re-arrest in a Joburg hospital, where she had been admitted for an undisclosed illness.

Murphy has been seconded from the Pretoria High Court to the Cape Town High Court to preside in the case.

Judge Maqubela and his widow were too well-known to the judges in the Western Cape for any of them to have tried the case.

The purpose of the bail inquiry was to determine whether Maqubela’s absence from previous proceedings and her change of address without informing the authorities of her new address was a punishable breach of her bail conditions.

Murphy told Maqubela that the fact that the State wanted to lead evidence to have her bail revoked necessitated a full-scale hearing, and that this could not take place without the presence of her privately-funded counsel Philip Higgo.

He said that while Higgo was not available for today’s proceedings, he would be available when the inquiry started on August 26.

According to instructing attorney Howard Rubenstein, Maqubela has obtained funding for private legal representation only for the bail inquiry.

Murphy said the legal aid authorities had provided him with a report about the possibility of further legal aid representation for Maqubela, but he had not yet read it and would deal with it at the inquiry.

The prosecution team, State advocates Bonnie Currie-Gamwo and Pedro van Wyk, told the court that Rubenstein informed them only late yesterday that Maqubela had “placed him in funds” to represent her at the bail inquiry.

It was uncertain whether she would have funding for further private representation.

Kobus Esterhyse, chief of the Legal Aid Board’s Cape Town office, attended the proceedings.

The matter was postponed to August 26.

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