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Fri Nov 27 10:15:32 SAST 2015

Maqubela defence to apply for acquittal

Sapa | 19 February, 2013 16:29
Thandi Maqubela arrives at the Cape Town High Court, where she and former pastor Vela Mabena are on trial for the murder of her husband, Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela, in 2009. File photo.

Deceased acting judge Patrick Maqubela's widow Thandi and her co-accused Vela Mabena will apply for their acquittal and discharge, the High Court in Cape Town heard on Tuesday.

Their defence team, Marius Broeksma for Maqubela and Randall Titus for Mabena, announced they would bring the combined application on March 7.

The State closed its case earlier on Tuesday.

It alleges that the two suffocated Maqubela with cling-wrap in his Sea Point apartment on June 5, 2009.

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

Maqubela and Mabena have both pleaded not guilty, before Judge John Murphy, to charges of murder, fraud and forgery,

The defence claims the judge died of natural causes.

In the discharge application, the defence will have to satisfy the court that the prosecution team failed to prove Maqubela and Mabena's guilt, and that they have no case to meet.

If the application is unsuccessful, Maqubela and Mabena will need to decide whether to testify in their own defence or to remain silent.


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