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Life sentence for ‘Facebook rapist’

Cape Town -

“Facebook rapist” Thabo Bester was on Thursday jailed for life for the murder of Johannesburg model and car saleswoman Nomfundo Tyhulu.

The so-called "Facebook rapist" Thabo Bester has been sentenced to life for the murder of model Nomfundo Tyhulu. Credit: INLSA

He appeared in the Western Cape High Court before acting Judge Judith Cloete and assessor Juliana Thayson, who sentenced him to an additional 25 years on a charge of aggravated armed robbery.

The armed robbery charge related to possessions he took from Tyhulu after killing her. Bester, 23, stabbed Tyhulu, 23, in the chest, in a bed-and-breakfast in Cape Town in September last year. The two were on holiday together.

They met at a BMW dealership in Sandton, Johannesburg, where she had sold him a car. They started a long-term relationship before going to Cape Town on holiday.

Cloete described Bester's attack on Tyhulu as brutal and callous.

“She saw you approaching with the knife, and a struggle ensued, in which you stabbed her once, fatally, in the chest.”

Tyhulu was lying face down on the bed after the stabbing. Bester tied her hands behind her back and demanded the password to her laptop, Cloete said.

She refused. Around 7am, five hours later, Bester left the bed-and-breakfast with Tyhulu's laptop and cellphone. He told reception staff that Tyhulu was still sleeping and not to be disturbed before 2pm. The establishment's owner drove him to the Cape Town CBD. He later flew to Durban.

Cloete said these instructions counted as an aggravating factor and there were no reasons for her to deviate from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment. - Sapa

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