Maqubela confronted alleged blackmailer

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thandi mar 28 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Thandi Maqubela inside the Western Cape High Court. File photo: Michael Walker

Cape Town - The wife of acting judge Patrick Maqubela confronted a policeman who allegedly blackmailed him with “compromising” pictures, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Thandi Maqubela testified that she told her late husband she was meeting the policeman at the Sandton police station and that he was okay with it.

She said they met in the front entrance of the station at the end of 2008, or early 2009.

She told the policeman she was aware he was demanding money from her husband, that she did not like this relationship, and that it should be stopped.

The man apparently denied knowing her husband, but Maqubela said she had seen his number on her husband's phone and he eventually admitted some guilt.

“He didn't mention blackmail, but agreed he was getting money from my husband.”

Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena, her business partner, have pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband in June 2009.

Maqubela has also pleaded not guilty to additional charges of forgery and fraud relating to the judge's last will.

Bonnie Currie-Gamwo, for the State, put it to Maqubela that no blackmail occurred and that when the two had met, Maqubela had not confronted the policeman about blackmail.

Maqubela denied this assertion.

Two “compromising photographs” of the judge, which were not shown to the media, were handed to the court last month.

Maqubela testified at the time that her husband had shown her the photographs.

She was asked if anyone else had seen the photos and if her husband had told her where they were taken.

Maqubela replied that she did not show them to anyone and that her husband became angry when she asked where they were shot.

She was asked for her reaction to the photos.

“I was shocked. I don't know what I thought but I was shocked.”

She said her husband was not happy with the photos and scared of blackmail.

Currie-Gamwo briefly described the photos in court, saying the judge was the only person captured.

“In the pictures, your husband's eyes are closed and he's asleep. He's fully clothed,” she told Maqubela.

Maqubela replied: “Not quite”.

The prosecutor said that “but for a certain part of his body”, he was clothed and had a suit on.

The court heard the photographs were posted.

Maqubela said her husband had told her he opened a criminal case of blackmail, but she was not sure whether it was at Bramley or Sandton police station.

“The envelope in which the photos were, there was something like when they check for fingerprints. Like a glue or something,” she said. - Sapa



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