Maqubela pathologist cites uncertainties

2013-02-13 14:40

Cape Town - The pathologist who conducted an autopsy on acting judge Patrick Maqubela has refused to commit to a definitive cause of his death.

The State spent Wednesday morning in the Western Cape High Court re-examining Dr Sipho Mfolozi on his findings.

Maqubela's widow Thandi, and her co-accused businessman Vela Mabena, are charged with murder, forgery, and fraud.

The State alleges that they suffocated Maqubela in his luxury Sea Point apartment using cling-wrap placed over his face, on 5 June 2009.

The widow then allegedly forged her dead husband's signature on a fake will.

Judge John Murphy asked the pathologist if he was willing to indicate the most likely scenario for death, based on his findings at the scene, the autopsy, and the post-mortem analysis.

The pathologist spent almost a minute in the witness box pursing his lips and staring into the distance, presumably thinking of an appropriate answer.

"In the absence of any cause for the haemorrhage histologically (through the study of tissues), that's a difficult one," he said.

"I wouldn't want to commit myself to saying it was due to baro-trauma (pressure on the lungs)."

The judge had wanted to know whether the damage noted on the body was due to injury before death or simply a side-effect of decomposition.

Mfolozi had previously testified that pressure on the lungs could have been as a result of drowning, an explosion, suffocation, or decomposition.

Judge Maqubela was found with blood on his face, which was later revealed to be from his lungs.

  • christi.roestorff - 2013-02-13 14:59

    How does the state go into a murder trial when the pathologist is unsure of cause of death?

      marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-02-13 15:13

      The mind boggles!!!! Surely if unsure they should get a second and perhaps even third opinion!

      george.anderson.796569 - 2013-02-13 16:01

      Judge should follow up on there credentials. Find they are fake just like gov

      ZION - 2013-02-13 16:16

      Under certain conditions he may withhold the information if it is going to affect the family in any way. He is only acting in the interest of the family

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-13 16:48

      That's absolute rubbish, Zion. Dr Sipho Mfolozi is under oath and honour-bound to tell the truth, irrespective of the family's sensibilities. I wonder who got to him?

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-02-13 16:53

      Perhaps the good doctor passed his examinations with 30% which means that he doesn't know 70% of the time!

      Jim Jwane - 2013-02-25 10:19

      Christi, your question is relevant. How on earth can the State proceed with the case when pathologist confirm he is not the one who said he died of suffocation ? State has been on fishing expedition in this case, first we were told acting judge died of natural causes, then it was said he was poisoned after that it was said he was suffocated with pillow then lately we were told he was strangle or suffocated with slim wrap plastic found in the dustbin. I personally know the late acting judge we were attending gym session together I well know his physic ability, I can never ever believe in my wildest dream he could easily be murdered by his wife with the assistance of Mabena in a day light time between 10h00 and 10h30 without any commotion being heard by the garden workers who were working outside and the room maids who were moving in and out and with the presence of security guard 50mtres away. There is something wrong with that story hence the State Case is crumbling loosing credibility. 90 Witnesses that were called by the State never bring us any closer in understanding how was this acting judge murdered (if ever murdered) Let us see how the judge will summarize all evidence presented before the Court and give us the verdict. The Court work with evidence presented before it, not with public opinions and fury that were whipped by the State. Let us all not prejudge the case let the learned judge lead us.

  • lois.lloyd.1238 - 2013-02-13 15:01

    Another incompetent - and the guilty will walk free!!

  • Rampant - 2013-02-13 15:46

    I smell a RAT. There is a lot of money involved here.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-02-13 16:08

    What qualifications has this pathologist have besides AA and BEE? Another incompetent idiot in a responsible position making a mockery of the justice system.

      Yandisa Rwaai - 2013-02-13 16:49

      Yes Peter according to you blacks are stupid huh??

      lucky.mpoza - 2013-02-13 17:06

      You know when white people talk like you Peter, it is very clear that they think all blacks are stupid. Can't you or any other person who undermines these AA and BEE policies you for once imagine that there are people who got higher positions through them and are actually doing well in their positions. Bud, there are many bad things we can say about white people.

      Yandisa Rwaai - 2013-02-13 17:11

      @Mphoza leave him he's clearly frustrated, he's probably deep in debt and has been leaving beyond his means like a lot of people i know and wants to blame everyone around him but himself!!!!

      jerry.medina.756 - 2013-02-13 20:42

      And they ask you to vote for DA.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2013-02-13 16:36

    Maybe this Pathologist used a woodwork chisel...instead of a scalpel???

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2013-02-13 16:39

    Taking a minute pursing lips and staring into the distance - sounds more like a sooth sayer or isanuse or sangoma than a pathologist.

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