Maqubela's cross-examination ends

By Drum Digital
18 April 2013

The cross-examination of Thandi Maqubela, accused of the alleged murder of her husband acting judge Patrick Maqubela ended in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Thandi Maqubela and her business associate Vela Mabena have pleaded not guilty before Judge John Murphy and assessor Danie Marais to the alleged murder.

Maqubela alone is also charged with fraud and forgery.

She is alleged to have forged her deceased husband's signature on a fake will, and to have presented it to the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court.

Maqubela and Mabena both claim that her husband died of natural causes, and deny that they suffocated him by placing a piece of plastic cling-wrap over his face in June, 2009, as alleged by the State.

The Master's Office, a division of the justice department dealing with insolvent and deceased estates, recorded the judge's death as "intestate", meaning that he had died without leaving a last will and testament.

Maqubela told the court earlier that her husband's belongings were packed in cartons at his luxury Bantry Bay apartment, and moved to his Sandton home in Johannesburg.

It was only some months afterwards that two additional cartons arrived one night at the Sandton home.

The next day, she told the court, she opened the cartons and found books and documents, including her husband's signed will, which she then took to the Master's Office.

Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo told the court his estate was worth R20 million. She alleged that the judge in fact died intestate, and that the will presented at the Master's Office was a forgery.

The case continues on Monday, when defence counsel Marius Broeksma will call a private pathologist to the witness stand.

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