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Cross examination for Maqubela’s social worker

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A social worker who recommended that convicted killer Thandi Maqubela be handed a periodical imprisonment will be cross-examined in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Testifying in Maqubela’s mitigation of sentence, Arina Smit said this sentence attempted to balance the interest of society, the seriousness of the offence, and Maqubela’s rehabilitation or healing.

According to the Criminal Procedure Act, a person given a periodical sentence had to serve not less than 100 hours (four days) and no more than two thousand hours (83 days).

Smit had also recommended as an alternative a wholly suspended sentence.

However, she acknowledged that this sentence could be viewed as too lenient for murder, by the courts and society.

The wholly suspended sentence would be on condition that Maqubela, 60, pay for at least 20 sessions with a clinical psychologist to deal with the trauma of the crime, trial, detention in prison and public humiliation.

She would also have to submit to the supervision and control of a correctional or probation officer, and perform no less than 800 hours of community service.

Smit said Maqubela was not a danger to society and had a low risk of re-offending. She was likely to develop medical and health issues if detained since she presented as blunted and numb in her interviews.

Maqubela had told her she had not been able to cry since being incarcerated.

Last November, Maqubela was found guilty of killing her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela, in June 2009, despite not having conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause of death.

She was found guilty of forging her husband’s will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice to his estate. SAPA

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