Case against 9th suspect in Thabo Bester escape postponed to next week

Zanda Moyo is the 9th suspect arrested in the Thabo Bester escape. Photo: Screenshot from SABC

Zanda Moyo is the 9th suspect arrested in the Thabo Bester escape. Photo: Screenshot from SABC

Published Jun 13, 2023


Pretoria – A Zimbabwean national accused of assisting Thabo Bester escape from prison appeared briefly in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday when his matter was postponed to June 20.

Zanda Moyo, 31, was arrested on Sunday morning in Johannesburg.

“At this stage, he faces a charge of assisting an inmate to escape from lawful custody. The suspect is likely to face more charges,” said national police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

Mathe added that the possibility of police making more arrests could not be ruled out.

Moyo has been charged with violating a body, assisting an inmate to escape and fraud.

According to the SABC, Moyo and Dr Nandipha Magudumana purported that the unclaimed and unidentified body in the Bloemfontein mortuary was Moyo’s brother, Themba Ndlovu, who was later found to be Katlego Bereng.

Bereng’s body was used a decoy in Bester’s escape. His charred remains were found in Bester’s prison cell. At the time it was believed that Bester had committed suicide.

Bereng’s identity was confirmed through a DNA match with his mother.

According to his family, he disappeared around March 2022 and was reported as a missing person.

A post mortem confirmed that Bereng had died due to blunt-force trauma to the head.

According to investigations, it appears that his body was stolen from a government mortuary.

To date, police have arrested former G4S prison warder Senohe Matsoara, Magudumana's father Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni, former Integritron Integrated Solutions camera technician Teboho Lipholo, suspended G4S employee Tieho Frans Makhotsa, former G4S guard Buti Masukela and suspended G4S employee Natassja Jansen.

Meanwhile, Magudumana’s legal team is preparing to appeal the Bloemfontein High Court’s decision that dismissed her urgent application to declare her arrest in Tanzania unlawful.

The high court in Bloemfontein ruled that Magudumana had to remain in custody.

Moyo will appear alongside the other accused on June 20.