Maqubela trial delayed by illness
Cape Town - The resumption of the murder trial of acting judge Patrick Maqubela's widow, Thandi Sheryl Maqubela, and her business partner was delayed by illness on Monday.
Judge John Murphy told pathologist Dr Sipho Mfolozi, who was to be cross-examined on Monday, that Maqubela's lawyer, Marius Broeksma, was ill.
Although Broeksma was in court, he needed the matter postponed to Wednesday to recuperate.
Murphy apologised to the pathologist for the inconvenience.
“Illness is one of the trials and tribulations that happen in criminal proceedings, and it would be unfair to both the accused as well as her counsel to continue before he has recovered.”
Maqubela and her co-accused, businessman Vela Mabena, are charged with murder, forgery, and fraud.
Prosecutors Bonnie Currie-Gamwo and Pedro van Wyk allege that they suffocated Maqubela in his luxury Sea Point apartment using plastic cling wrap placed over his face, on June 5, 2009. The widow then allegedly forged her dead husband's signature on a fake will.
She then allegedly fraudulently presented the forged will at the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court. The office deals with deceased and insolvent estates, and is separate from and has nothing to do with proceedings in the High Court.
Mabena's involvement in the fraud and forgery charges has not yet been explained. - Sapa