Phone expert testifies in judge's case
A telephone expert has lifted the lid on the mysterious call that was made to slain acting judge Patrick Maqubela's chambers on the day he died more than three years ago.
Jacobus Visagie, an operations specialist at Telkom, testified in the trial of Maqubela's wife, Thandi, in the Cape Town High Court yesterday.
Visagie confirmed that a call to the acting judge's chambers on the day of his death was actually made from his cellphone.
Petra Heynecke, an information manager, on Monday testified that phone records showed that Maqubela and co-accused Vela Mabhena called each other and exchanged messages days before the acting judge's death.
Heynecke said Maqubela's cellphone and his wife's were traced to Butterworth on the day he died and that she had called his phone.
The acting judge's secretary, Joy Ely-Hanslo, last year testified that she received a call in Maqubela's chambers at the Cape Town High Court from a woman who identified herself as Amanda on Friday June 5 2009, informing her that the acting judge was at Groote Schuur Hospital.
The acting judge was supposed to attend a judges' meeting that morning to hear an appeal. When he did not arrive, Ely-Hanslo called him several times but his phone rang unanswered and she left messages for him to call her urgently.
But Ely-Hanslo said no one could confirm the acting judge's admission or knew who Amanda was when she called the hospital.
Maqubela and Mabhena, a former pastor, are charged with the acting judge's murder.
Maqubela is also charged with forging her husband's signature on his will to make her the main beneficiary of his estate. The accused have both pleaded not guilty.
According to the state, the acting judge was murdered on June 5, 2009. His body was found slumped in his bed in his upmarket flat in Sea Point, Cape Town, two days later.
The trial resumed on Monday.