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Maqubela widow to seek acquittal

Cape Town - Deceased acting judge Patrick Maqubela's widow Thandi and her co-accused Vela Mabena will apply for their acquittal and discharge, the High Court in Cape Town heard on Tuesday.

Their defence team, Marius Broeksma for Maqubela and Randall Titus for Mabena, announced they would bring the combined application on March 7.

Thandi Maqubela, who is accused of murdering her husband Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The State closed its case earlier on Tuesday.

It alleges that the two suffocated Maqubela with cling-wrap in his Sea Point apartment on June 5, 2009.

The widow then allegedly forged her dead husband's signature on a fake will.

Maqubela and Mabena have both pleaded not guilty, before Judge John Murphy, to charges of murder, fraud and forgery.

The defence claims the judge died of natural causes.

In the discharge application, the defence will have to satisfy the court that the prosecution team failed to prove Maqubela and Mabena's guilt, and that they have no case to meet.

If the application is unsuccessful, Maqubela and Mabena will need to decide whether to testify in their own defence or to remain silent. - Sapa

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