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Maqubela murder trial resumes

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iol news pic Thandi Maqubela

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Thandi Maqubela, accused of killing her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela. Picture Mxolisi Madela

Cape Town -

The trial of Thandi Maqubela, widow of slain High Court judge Patrick Maqubela, resumed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Maqubela had pleaded not guilty to a charge of killing her husband. She was in the dock with businessman Vela Mabena, a distributor of health products, who also pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Monday's proceedings, before Johannesburg-based Judge John Murphy, were taken up by the testimony of Vodacom client manager Petra Heynecke.

She testified about cellphone calls and SMS messages between Mabena, Maqubela, and her husband before he died.

Heynecke merely placed on record that cellphone calls and SMS messages were made with the use of two cellphones. She did not give details of the calls or messages.

At one stage in Monday's proceedings, Maqubela's lawyer, Marius Broeksma, objected to the testimony, on the grounds that it was not taking the case any further.

“If the State has a reason for this testimony, I am not aware of it,” he said.

The judge allowed the testimony to continue after State advocate Pedro van Wyk said it formed part of the prosecution's case, but for reasons of strategy was not yet able to elaborate.

Maqubela's body was found in his luxury apartment in Bantry Bay on June 7, 2009.

The State alleges he was suffocated, while the defence claims he died of natural causes.

The trial continues on Tuesday. - Sapa


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