Witness says Maqubela is passionate and caring

By Drum Digital
16 March 2015

Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela is a caring woman who passionately advocated for the vulnerable, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

This was the testimony of Thuli Mzamane, who worked with Maqubela when they were both midwifery students at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban in the 1980s.

Called as a witness during sentencing proceedings, Mzamane said the two "just clicked".

The court heard that Maqubela started up SA Nurses in Business in order to teach nurses how to be entrepreneurs.

Mzamane said hundreds of nurses became involved across a number of provinces during their off-days.

Maqubela managed to get a government tender in which the nurses trained communities on HIV and Aids issues in early 2000.

"As a person who is an entrepreneur and a nurse, she was aware of the fact that HIV/Aids was killing a lot of people, and also aware of the fact that we needed to get the information out to as many people as possible," she testified.

"She is passionate about the lives of ordinary people."

Mzamane said Maqubela set up the SA Women in Health organisation for professionals who wanted to help out with early childhood development and elderly women.

She said Maqubela obtained funding for her ventures from wealthy friends and contacts.

Maqubela was deeply religious and prayed for everything that she pursued.

Mzamane said that after being arrested for her acting judge husband's death, she saw a change in her friend.

"She was a bit subdued and she had lost a lot of weight. She didn't really look happy at all."

In November 2013, the same court found Maqubela guilty of killing her acting judge husband Patrick Maqubela in June 2009, despite not having conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause of death.

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

The judge was based at the Western Cape High Court at the time of his death.

A panel of mental health experts at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital unanimously found that she was fit to understand sentencing proceedings after she acted out of character at an appearance in September.

The panel's report was handed up on Monday, following the 60-day observation.

Judge John Murphy declared she was fit to understand the proceedings and conduct her defence.

Her lawyer Thomas Tyler indicated he would call a number of witnesses for the purposes of sentencing.

Source : Sapa

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