Maqubela's lawyers withdraw due to lack of fees

Cape Town - The lawyers for convicted killer Thandi Maqubela have withdrawn due to a lack of funds, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

In an affidavit by Stan Fanaroff, read out by his Cape Town correspondents during sentencing proceedings, it was revealed that the fees she had submitted were "totally inadequate".

His firm had been under the impression that their mandate was only to argue in favour of mitigation of sentencing, based on obtaining a record of around 2 000 pages.

But Fanaroff said Maqubela "moved the goalposts" and wanted them to argue for her to be released on bail and to represent her on appeal.

In addition, when they had finally received the record, it was 4 500 pages.

He said Maqubela had also insisted that she only wanted Advocate Kenny Oldwadge to represent her.

Fanaroff said that he re-paid the balance of funds owing to her and withdrew.

Judge John Murphy assented to the withdrawal and confirmed that Maqubela was aware of the withdrawal.

In November, the same court found Maqubela 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 also found guilty of forging her husband's will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice to his estate.

Her sentencing had been postponed to give her new defence team time to prepare.

On Monday, Maqubela asked to address the court, insisting that Fanaroff had mistreated her and that she wanted an investigation into his conduct.

"It's on record that he said to my Lord that he has got sufficient funds. In June, Mr Fanaroff wanted R1m from me. So that prejudiced me," she told Murphy.

"R1m in June, when I am in custody, I think is really putting me in a difficult situation. I didn't plan not to have a legal representative."

Maqubela in ‘pain’

Murphy said he understood her predicament but that she had to decide now whether to represent herself or hire Legal Aid for sentencing.

For the next 30 minutes, Maqubela tried to describe her "pain" at being unfairly treated by her lawyers.

Dressed in a black suit and fuschia turban, she referred to evidence she had brought along in a folder.

When Murphy pressed her to decide what to do, she asked to apply for bail so that she could represent herself and consult with her witnesses.

Murphy said he was disinclined to grant bail at this stage.

"I have considered it and for the same reasons I refused you bail previously, I would refuse you again now," he said.

He believed that she would be able to consult with witnesses in the court's holding cells or at Pollsmoor Prison.

Ria Cook 2014-08-04 02:39:38 PM
This woman is making the legal fraternity look like fools.
Paige Turner 2014-08-04 02:44:17 PM
She's trying too hard to put off the inevitable. She should salvage what little dignity she has and go directly to jail -- do not pass go, do not collect the millions she tried to embezzle out of her husband's estate via a forged will. Pollsmoor for the next 25 years to life. She can trade in her designer suits and chichi doeks at the door.
Liz Rudy 2014-08-04 02:54:31 PM
Laywers?????? Epic spell check FAIL
DiCanio 2014-08-04 02:57:35 PM
Do women really mean it when they say "I do"?
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-04 03:00:27 PM
What a crock of Cr@P. Sit your time to the maximum. You murdering scumbag.
David Van Schalkwyk 2014-08-04 03:03:55 PM
What is a Laywer???
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-04 03:07:42 PM
@News 24 loving the spelling.
David Van Schalkwyk 2014-08-04 03:13:07 PM
News24 if you press F7 on your keyboard before posting an article it will check your spelling for you... It is the 8th key on your keyboard going from left to right... A keyboard is that little black think that you are using right now to type your next story... Please F.O.C.U.S...
Bento Maepa 2014-08-04 04:21:15 PM
Know this people - you are only as good as your money to a lawyer. Once the kitty runs dry they drop you. That is their nature - thriving on other people's miseries.
Sanda Luthuli 2014-08-05 08:06:29 AM
Whats the going rate for a lawyer these day? is the fee dependant on winning the case?