G4S prison worker implicated in Thabo Bester escape granted R10,000 bail

The three latest suspects to be added to the Thabo Bester case. Picture: screenshot/SABC

The three latest suspects to be added to the Thabo Bester case. Picture: screenshot/SABC

Published Jul 3, 2023


The three latest accused, to be added to the Thabo Bester prison escape saga, appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The G4S employees, Joel Makhetha, Moeketsi Ramolula and Thabang Mier, were all arrested on June 26, at their Bloemfontein and Botshabelo homes.

The latest arrests bring the number of people arrested in connection with Bester’s escape to 12, including Bester himself.

Bester faked his own death and escaped from the G4S-operated Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year.

He was re-arrested in April 2023 by Tanzanian authorities in Arusha after he fled the country with his lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

The trio made their first court appearance on Wednesday, June 28, and was postponed until Monday, July 3, for bail information.

During proceedings, State prosecutor Sello Matlhoko said Mier faces a charge of aiding the escape of a prisoner, and because he had no previous convictions or pending matters, the State was not opposed to his bail.

Mier handed his passport over to the investigating officer on Monday and this information was also placed on record in court.

The State called for conditions to be attached to Mier being granted bail.

Mier was subsequently granted R10,000 bail and his conditions include attending court cases, not communicating, threatening or intimidating any of the state witnesses, he may not leave the Mangaung district without the permission of the investigating officer and has to report weekly to his local police station between 8am and 4pm.

Mier’s co-accused, Ramolula, who was represented by a Legal Aid lawyer last week, has a new lawyer.

His new legal counsel came on board immediately.

Ramolula and Makhetha face charges of violating a corpse and corruption. The State has declared the charges against them as Schedule 5 offences and, therefore, opposed their bail.

The duo will be bringing a bail application before the same court on Tuesday, July 11.

They will remain in custody.

Mier is expected back in court with his co-accused Bester, 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 and suspended G4S employee Natassja Jansen.

He joins Sekeleni and Jansen who were also granted R10,000 bail.

The group are expected back in court on August 8.

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