Johannesburg – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that it will no longer prefer a charge of murder against the accused in the Thabo Bester case after further evidence was presented by the investigating team.
Free State NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said: “At this early stage, prosecutors can only bring charges based on the evidence presented by the investigators.”
The current investigation by the team reveals that a post-mortem that was performed on the body of the unidentified deceased person found in cell 35 at Mangaung Correctional Centre registered the cause of death as unnatural death.
The charred remains that were found in Bester’s cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre have since been identified as those of 32-year-old Katlego Bereng-Mpholo through DNA testing with Bereng-Mpholo’s mother, Monica Matsie.
According to his family, Bereng-Mpholo went missing around March last year, and a missing person’s case was registered by his grandmother, Matsietsi Ralilateng, after a month of endless searching for him.
“The cause of this unnatural death is still being investigated. At this stage, there is insufficient evidence for the NPA to pursue a charge of murder hence the NPA has taken a decision not to prefer a charge of murder against the accused pending further investigation,” said Shuping.
The NPA will continue to engage with the SAPS, which is carrying out investigations, to ensure that all the required evidence is included in the docket.
“The NPA will work closely with the SAPS to ensure that they prioritise getting the required additional evidence so that we can include a broader range of charges as appropriate,” said Shuping.