SCA overturns Thandi Maqubela's murder conviction

2017-09-29 11:31
Thandi Maqubela. (Liza van Deventer, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

Thandi Maqubela. (Liza van Deventer, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

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Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal has overturned Thandi Maqubela's guilty conviction for the murder of her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela.

"I am glad for her and especially for her children," one of her lawyers, Stephen Lamprecht, told News24 about the court's decision to uphold her appeal.

READ: Thandi Maqubela appeals murder conviction, sentence

Maqubela, 62, was found guilty in November 2014 of killing her husband, falsifying his signature on his will nine months after his death, and committing fraud by possibly benefitting from his will.

The acting judge was killed in June 2009.

She was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in April 2015 for the murder, forgery and fraud.

READ - Son: Give Maqubela 20 years in jail

The SCA said it held that medical evidence given by specialist pathologist Professor Saayman, that correct conclusion was that the acting judge had probably died of natural causes.

The court said it found that Saayman’s conclusion was based upon objective medical facts, sound logical reasoning and accorded with the probabilities as revealed by the medical evidence.

“The trial court had accordingly erred in concluding that the medical evidence as to the cause of death of the deceased was inconclusive.

“In the light of the conclusion that the deceased probably died of natural causes, even if the mendacity and guilty consciousness of the appellant were taken into account, an unlawful killing was not the only reasonable inference that could be drawn,” it said.

The SCA said a finding of murder was therefore precluded.

It also found that the trial court had “impermissibly” relied upon the evidence of guilty conduct on the part of the appellant (Maqubela), without more, to prove her guilt.

“In the result, the appeal against the conviction of murder succeeded,” it said.

Read more on:    thandi maqubela  |  bloemfontein  |  crime

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