Impossible for me to hide, says Maqubela

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Copy of ca p4 Thandi Maqubela2 done

CAPE ARGUS

Thandi Maqubela says it would be virtually impossible for her to hide in South Africa should she flee to evade sentencing. Photo; Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - Convicted murderer Thandi Maqubela says it would be “virtually impossible” for her to hide in South Africa should she flee to evade sentencing.

The Johannesburg widow, who has been locked away in Pollsmoor Prison for the past month, wants to be released on bail pending sentencing procedures scheduled to begin on February 17.

Her bail was revoked on November 7 when Judge John Murphy found her guilty of murdering her husband Patrick Maqubela, an acting judge at the Western Cape High Court, the same court in which she was convicted.

She was also found guilty of fraud and forgery for falsifying his will.

Maqubela has since lodged a bail application, which Judge Murphy heard on Thursday. He is expected to hand down a decision on Monday.

In an affidavit before the court, Maqubela pleaded her case for bail. Speaking about the likelihood that she would attempt to flee if she was released, she said she’d been prominently portrayed in the media and was “well known”.

“I submit… it will be virtually impossible for me to hide away in South Africa,” she said. In addition, she’d surrendered her passport to the authorities and she had “strong ties” in South Africa, particularly in Gauteng where most of her family lived.

Her defence counsel, Marius Broeksma, told the court it was highly improbable that she’d hide out “in some remote corner” of the country.

Despite the court’s adverse findings against her - among them that she’d lied under oath - Broeksma argued that she’d continued to attend the judgment proceedings, which were spread over four days.

“If she was going to flee it would have happened at this stage,” said Broeksma.

But State advocate Bonnie Currie-Gamwo contended that Maqubela’s lone affidavit in her bid for bail couldn’t be relied on considering the court’s findings on her credibility. She viewed Maqubela as a flight risk because of her ties in other provinces.

“She is well-connected, well-resourced and able to evade her trial.”

Although Broeksma argued that Maqubela had stuck to her bail conditions - with the exception of one incident where she’d been admitted to hospital - Currie-Gamwo said Maqubela hadn’t informed anyone, including her own legal team, when she’d been admitted to hospital.

She also hadn’t informed anyone when she’d changed her residential address.

Maqubela further contended that her release on bail wouldn’t endanger the public, or any particular person.

“Although I was convicted of murder, the degree of violence… as found in judgment was not very high,” she said.

Currie-Gamwo, however, said that murder by nature was violent and in Maqubela’s case she’d “strategically and calculatedly” attempted to conceal her crimes.

leila.samodien@inl.co.za

Cape Times


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