In a surprising twist to the Thabo Bester escape saga, Dr Nandipha Magudumana has issued a letter through her lawyers, claiming powerful politicians and business people were behind her suffering and incarceration at a Bloemfontein prison.
Magudumana was arrested alongside the convicted Facebook rapist in Tanzania in April. They had allegedly been on the run after it was exposed that Bester had faked his fiery prison cell death in June last year.
A photograph from July last year, taken from a Sandton supermarket, showed the love birds, Magudumana and Bester together. It was made public in March in an explosive report by non-profit news agency GroundUp.
Investigations by JICS - the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, the SA Police Service and the Department of Correctional Services, showed that the governmental agencies had suspected as early as August last year that Bester may have escaped from his cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre.
Magudumana, who faces multiple charges of fraud and corruption, violating a corpse, harbouring and concealing an escaped offender, and defeating the ends of justice, said she was "illegally" incarcerated at the Bizzah Makhete Correctional Centre in Kroonstad, near Bloemfontein.
She said in her letter, which has been released publicly by her lawyers: "The many painful times I have suffered physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men, including some of the most powerful and prominent families in South Africa currently occupying the highest offices in government and business".
Magudumana said she would be able to share more about her alleged suffering at the hands of the unnamed business people and politicians.
She said she had been having deep conversations with God, who was giving her strength daily, and thanked her family for the support, saying she missed her children.
"Through my lawyers, I am aware of the many untrue statements, narratives, and conclusions surrounding my arrest, and I will deal with such at a more appropriate level.
“As Women's Month comes to an end I'm reminded about the struggles women face in our country,” she said.
Magudumana challenged her arrest in Tanzania through the courts. The Free State High Court in Bloemfontein dismissed her application where she wanted the court to declare her arrest unlawful, but it did not confirm that she had been extradited. It said she had been a willing participant in her own extradition. She has taken the ruling on appeal.
"I am also aware of the various productions being shot about my life, and I'd like to categorically state that if my voice or that of my legal team is not represented, there is likely no truth or credibility to that story.
"I have conditionally granted a black woman-owned production company from South Africa exclusive rights to my story, and our lawyers are finalising the paperwork," she said.
A look back at how Thabo Bester became the Facebook rapist.
Other accused in the Bester matter are Magudumana, former G4S prison warder Senohe Matsoara, Zanda Moyo, Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni, former Integritron Integrated Solutions camera technician Teboho Lipholo, suspended G4S employee Tieho Frans Makhotsa, former G4S guard Buti Masukela, suspended G4S employee Natassja Jansen and G4S employees, Joel Makhetha, Moeketsi Ramolula and Thabang Mier, who were granted bail of R10,000.