‘Black Widow’ challenging the process of her late husband’s estate

Thandi Maqubela is allegedly disputing that one of the beneficiaries is a rightful heir.

Thandi Maqubela takes her seat in the dock in court on 19 March 2015. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court on Thursday heard that Thandi Maqubela was frustrating the process of winding up her late husband's estate.

Her step-son, Duma, made the claim while testifying in aggravation of sentence.

Maqubela (60), dubbed 'the Black Widow', was found guilty in 2013 of murdering her husband, acting Judge Patrick Maqubela in 2009.

Sentencing proceedings resumed this week.

Duma, from a previous marriage, was called to testify for the State today.

He said his stepmother had lodged an objection that would delay the distribution of his late father's estate.

He said she was disputing that one of the beneficiaries, his half-sister, is a rightful heir.

"The accused is claiming that Patiwe [Singapi] is not the biological daughter of my father."

He told the court earlier that Thandi sowed divisions in the family, and was cold towards him.

He rejected a social worker's recommendation yesterday that she be given a wholly suspended sentence or periodical imprisonment.

Arina Smit from the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) said that even though a prison sentence would serve as retribution, it wasn't the most appropriate remedy because Maqubela should be given a chance to remain a productive member of society.

Smit said Maqubela had focused many of her business ventures on women's issues and is passionate about helping communities.

She said Maqubela appeared to be a first-time offender, although the social worker's report mentions an incident in which she struck her husband with a tomahawk axe while they were dating, resulting in his hospitalisation.

In the report, Maqubela explained to Smit the incident happened many years ago when he was involved in the political struggle against apartheid.

Following an argument at a braai, Maqubela walked away but she says he ran after her.

She then picked up the axe, turned around swiftly and gestured for him to stay away from her when she struck him.

It appears he did not lay any charges.