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Cape Town - Murder accused Thandi Maqubela was concerned her husband’s alleged cheating would bring HIV into their family, said her defence lawyer, Marius Broeksma.
He put this to State witness Mzimkulu Dilima on Monday in the trial of Maqubela and co-accused Vela Mabena for the alleged murder of Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela.
Dilima, a medical doctor and a friend of the acting judge for some 40 years, testified Thandi Maqubela came to see him in late 2008 or early 2009 – he could not remember the date – and showed him a file containing information, such as photos and hotel bills, relating to the acting judge’s alleged affairs.
“She said I must please talk to the judge because she didn’t like this and she didn’t approve of it,” he said.
Broeksma, however, put it to Dilima that his client had not only come to him because he was a good friend of her husband’s, but also because he was a doctor and she believed he would understand her concerns about her husband’s “sleeping around from a health point of view”.
According to Maqubela’s version, she had discussed with him the possibility of “HIV coming into the family”.
Dilima could not remember this, saying it was “never really a striking point in our conversation”.
Dilima also testified to having received an SMS from Acting Judge Maqubela’s number in the late morning on Friday, June 5, 2009 – the day he is alleged to have been suffocated to death in his Bantry Bay flat.
The State believes that by the time Dilima received the SMS, the acting judge was already dead.
They further believe that his wife had his cellphone following his death.
Dilima said his friend had never sent him SMSes. He had always called.
The SMS on June 5, 2009 had been the first from the acting judge’s cellphone.
“It said something like: ‘Tried to reach you several times. I couldn’t get you’,” said Dilima.
But while he had received the SMS, he hadn’t seen any missed calls on his phone.
Under cross-examination by Broeksma, Dilima said he had received the SMS at around 11am.
However, Broeksma pointed out that the cellphone records reflected that his SMS from the acting judge had been received at 8.56 that night.
Dilima maintained that he had checked the message in the afternoon, as his phone had been off in the morning while he attended a funeral.
Broeksma then suggested that the cellphone record, at least where it showed the time of day that the SMS had been received, was “clearly”incorrect.
While Maqubela is being tried for murder, she is disputing that her husband was killed.
She argues that he died of natural causes.
The trial continues on Tuesday.