Facebook rapist Thabo Bester hired Hilton Hotel in Sandton and launched a media company while in prison

Published Mar 25, 2023


Johannesburg - Facebook rapist Thabo Bester has yet again been exposed, this time for running a scam media company from prison under the alias of Tom Motsepe, who he claimed was related to billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe.

Bester posed as the chairman of 21st Century Media, a media and production company, which was made to look like a subsidiary of the 21st Century Fox.

Bester, who apparently hired 30 people for the company and rented office space in Sandton for months, managed to book out the Hilton Hotel in Sandton and attracted a packed audience who came out to the launch event.

A businesswoman, Phumudzo Thenga, was the sole director of the company, CIPC records showed.

When the company was launched in 2018, he was not present as he was in custody, but guests were told he was appearing via video link as he was based in New York. He was in fact in prison.

Thenga was a guest at the event.

Bester’s company came under fire in 2018 when it promoted a Women in Media conference with Hollywood A-listers such as Halle Berry and Taraji P Henson, with tickets sold at R1 250 each. The US stars spoke out against the event publicly.

Bester’s Tom Motsepe account, in which he used in 2018, contained photoshopped pictures of Bester.

News website GroundUp reported on Friday about the Bester link in the Tom Motsepe scam, uncovered archived websites where he described himself as “South African investment strategist magnate”, a “progressive and innovative businessman”, and a “thought leader” with “sound knowledge of how to operate a successful global brand”.

He claimed to own 33.5% of Viacom, 12.9% of 20th Century Fox and “went on to occupy” UBS Financial Services in Switzerland and also held a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Cape Town, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Investment and Securities from Harvard University.

A number of former employees of 21st Century Media, who spoke to GroundUp described Bester, under the Tom Motsepe alias, as someone who was hands-on in operations.

They said he would send money whenever it was needed and that everyone worked under direct instructions from him.

The former employees also told Groundup that the Women in Media saga was the beginning of the end for 21st Century Media as the company had lost all credibility and was facing legal action from the real 21st Century Fox.

The Department of Correctional Services and the police have said investigations regarding the Thabo Bester matter are still ongoing.