Maqubela verdict: Day 3

In a bizarre twist Thandi Maqubela says politically connected people were after her husband.

Thandi Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena in court on 4 November 2013. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The judge in the Patrick Maqubela murder trial will today spend a third day delivering his verdict in the case.

The acting judge was found dead in his Bantry Bay apartment in 2009.

It's alleged he was suffocated with cling wrap.

Maqubela's wife Thandi and her business associate Vela Mabena have been charged with his murder.

But Thandi is also facing two other charges of forgery and fraud.

Judge John Murphy has spent the past two days recounting evidence.

He spoke about the suspicious manner in which Maqubela's body was discovered, the fact that his wife Thandi hid his cellphone from police and her 'patent dishonesty' about her whereabouts on the day he was killed.

Maqubela's relative Nosizwe Matanzima says the widow's behaviour is suspicious.

"Listening to the judge telling us how it went makes us suspicious that she is responsible for the murder."

But in a bizarre twist outside the courthouse on Tuesday, Thandi told journalists she believed politically connected people were after her husband.

As supposed proof, she showed reporters an SMS that her husband allegedly sent to a former cabinet minister in 2008, criticising the current political leadership.

When asked to elaborate she would not explain how the SMS exonerates her or who it implicates.

On Monday, Thandi failed in her attempt to have the case reopened.


Judge John Murphy said a financial motive could possibly be linked to Maqubela's premature death.

Murphy said the prosecution believes the acting judge's wife had a sinister motive when she obtained information about a life insurance policy.

He said there is merit in that submission because Maqubela's death put Thandi in a position to inherit millions.

Murphy said the judge took out a policy which would pay out R20 million a few weeks before his death.