Maqubela lied - judge

2013-11-04 23:00
Thandi Maqubela (Picture: Die Burger)

Thandi Maqubela (Picture: Die Burger)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Thandi Maqubela lied about details of her husband's death and this affected her credibility, Western Cape High Court Judge John Murphy said on Monday.

He found that she was in possession of acting Judge Patrick Maqubela's cellphone from the Friday in 2009 when he was believed to have died, until the following Monday.

Murphy said she had led the court to believe that a policeman, who wanted to blackmail her husband, took his phone and placed it in a jacket pocket in his flat to be discovered by police that Monday.

"We reject this hypothesis as a falsehood concocted by accused one [Maqubela] to avoid culpability," Murphy said in his long judgment.

He said her testimony was contradicted by cellphone records, which showed that three of her cellphones activated the same base stations or those near her husband's phone in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and the Eastern Cape in that period.

She and her co-accused Vela Mabena have pleaded not guilty to suffocating Patrick Maqubela with cling-wrap in his Sea Point, Cape Town, flat on 5 June 2009.

She has also denied guilt on fraud and forgery charges related to a document she claims is her husband's will.

Murphy said that had Maqubela had an innocent use for her husband's phone, she would have told the police the Monday it was discovered. Instead, she hid her use of the phone from police.

Murphy said this "persistent denial" affected her credibility, showed she was given easily to lying under oath and had unrealistic expectations that a court might believe her "flagrant lies".

"Much will depend on the circumstances. There may be reasons for telling a lie other than realisations of guilt."

Travelling to the Eastern Cape

The court found that Maqubela had lied about her intention to travel to the Eastern Cape on the Friday of her husband's death.

Cellphone records showed that she sent an SMS to Justice Minister Jeff Radebe that morning, saying she and her husband were travelling together to the Eastern Cape.

A few minutes later, she sent an SMS to her daughter saying she would be returning to Johannesburg.

Murphy said she explained to police that she changed her mind about her destination only after 14:00 that day, but that cellphone records showed she phoned SA Airways at noon to book her flight to Johannesburg.

"These messages and calls suggest accused one [Maqubela] misled Mr Radebe.

Her statement to police about changing her mind... is just as false," the judge said.

Murphy said it could be logically inferred that Maqubela knew her husband would not be joining her because she knew of his whereabouts.

The judgment continues.

Read more on:    thandi maqubela  |  cape town

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.