Judge Maqubela’s murder trial postponed

The postponement of murder-accused Maquebela's trial came after her counsel Marius Broeksma asked Judge John Murphy for more time to prepare argument on the amendment of her murder and forgery charges.

Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena (47), both out on bail, were asked to return to court next Tuesday.

Patrick Maqubela (60) was found dead on his bed in a rented flat in Bantry Bay, Cape Town, in June last year.

Police initially said he died of a heart attack, but later opened a murder investigation.

The two accused have pleaded not guilty to suffocating the acting judge with cling-wrap in his Sea Point apartment on June 5 2009.

Not guilty
Thandi Maqubela was released on R100 000 bail, while her co-accsued Vela Mabena was granted bail of R20 000. 

Maqubela has also pleaded not guilty to forging her husband's signature on his will, and then fraudulently presenting it at the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court.

Last month, Murphy indicated he intended amending the charges on the indictment.

On the murder charge, he wanted to extend the cause of death by adding "or means unknown" to "suffocation with plastic".

He said this was after the state previously conceded that it was unable to submit evidence regarding an alternative means of death.

Regarding Maqubela's alleged forgery of her husband's will, he wanted to amend the charge from "making of the signature" to "making of the will".

Broeksma would present argument next week as to the prejudice his clients would suffer should the charges be amended.

The court heard the defence intended calling a witness next Wednesday. – Sapa

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