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THABO Bester – dubbed the “Facebook rapist” and who was suspected of a range of crimes in Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban – has been found guilty of robbing and murdering a model at a Sunset Beach guest house in September.
Bester, 23, will be sentenced in the Western Cape High Court today. He has already been sentenced to 50 years’ jail for robbing and raping two women in Durban last year.
Yesterday, Acting Judge Judith Cloete found Bester guilty on both counts.
Bester was dubbed the “Facebook rapist” as he used the site to lure women interested in working in the TV and entertainment industry to meetings. He and his first victim drove from Johannesburg to Durban in the victim’s car and booked into a hotel in Umhlanga where he raped her. He told the Durban Regional Court that he met his second victim a few days later. He took the woman to a guest house in Westville under the pretext that he would help her rehearse for an interview.
Yesterday Bester appeared calm as his lawyer, Peter Burgers, read his confession and Cloete delivered the verdict.
In his confession Bester said he met Nomfundo Tyulu, 26, in January last year while she was working at BMW in Sandton and sold him a BMW 1 Series. “There was a mutual attraction and by March we had formed an intimate relationship with each other, despite my living in Durban and she living in Johannesburg. We communicated daily via phone and SMS,” he said.
Bester said Tyulu told him in September that she had started a new job and would be
free until late September.
He booked flights for Tyulu and himself to Cape Town and they booked into a hotel on September 19. On September 21 they booked into the Ocean Breeze B&B in Sunset Beach.
“Later that evening we became embroiled in an argument about one of my former girlfriends, whereafter we went to sleep. She was under the impression that I wanted a permanent relationship with her.”
Bester awoke around 2am, fetched a knife from the kitchen and “stabbed the deceased with the intention of taking her cellphone and laptop”.
Bester said Tyulu saw him approach her with a knife.
“We became involved in a struggle for control and possession of the knife. In the ensuing struggle I stabbed the deceased once in her chest with the knife,” he said.
Bester said he was aware that the stab wound could cause death, and continued to struggle with Tyulu.
“Straight after I had stabbed her, I noticed she was bleeding profusely and lying face down on the bed. I then tied her hands behind her back and asked her for the password for her computer, but at that stage she did not respond.”
At around 7am, Bester took the laptop and cellphone and asked the guest house owner for a lift to the city centre. He later flew to Durban.
“I admit that I told the owner of the guest house that the deceased was still sleeping and should not be woken until after 2pm and did not tell him that I had in fact stabbed the deceased,” he said.
Bester said he had no idea what motivated his actions.
“I am deeply sorry for killing Nomfundo… I realise that my actions were wrong and unlawful and that I will be punished for the unlawful killing of another human being, but nonetheless I have pleaded guilty.”
Burgers asked for an adjournment until today for sentencing arguments.