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SUMMARY: Here’s who will appear in court in connection with Thabo Bester’s prison bust

Convicted South African rapist and murderer Thabo Bester Picture: AFP

Convicted South African rapist and murderer Thabo Bester Picture: AFP

Published Aug 8, 2023


Twelve people are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday in connection with the escape of convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester.

Bester was sentenced to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the murder of Nomfundo Tiyhulu and charges of rape. Bester was dubbed the ‘Facebook rapist’ as he used the social media platform to lure his victims.

He was imprisoned at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein, run and managed by G4S, a British multinational private security company head-quartered in England.

In May 2022, the Department of Correctional Services reported that Bester died in his cell.

At the time, the DCS said there had been a fire in Bester's cell and he was found to have sustained burn wounds.

However, in March 2023, GroundUp reported that Bester had been spotted in Sandton alongside girlfriend and founder of Optimum Medical Aesthetics, Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

The couple then fled SA and were tracked down and arrested in Tanzania one month later. Investigations thus far revealed that the body found in Bester's cell was that of Katlego Bereng.

To date, 12 people including Bester and Magudumana have made several court appearances and are due back in court on Tuesday.

The accused in the Thabo Bester case. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

Here is a list of the accused:

1 - Senohe Matsoara

Former G4S supervisor who allegedly recruited people to aid in Bester's escape. He was also allegedly paid large sums of money by Bester. He also allegedly transported Bereng's body into the correctional centre as a decoy.

2 - Zolile Sekeleni

He is Dr Magudumana's father and is accused of orchestrating Bester's escape.

3 - Teboho Lipholo

A CCTV technician at Mangaung Correctional Centre accused of switching off the cameras during the escape. He allegedly walked Bester who was dressed as a G4S employee, out of the prison at the time of his escape.

Facebook rapist Thabo Bester’s girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency

4 - Dr Nandipha Magudumana

Bester's lover. She is also fighting the grounds around her arrest and deportation from Tanzania to SA. She claimed that officials abducted her.

5 - Thabo Bester - Currently detained at the Kgosi Mampuru prison

6 - Buti Masukela

Former G4s security guard who allegedly allowed the van carrying Bereng's body into the Mangaung Correctional Centre.

7 - Teiho Makhotsa

Former G4S control room operator who allegedly opened the gates on the night that Bester escaped the prison.

8 - Nastassja Jansen

Former G4S control room operator who allegedly opened the gates on the night that Bester escaped the prison.

9 - Zando Moyo

A Zimbabwean national who was arrested in Gauteng. He allegedly helped Dr Magudumana claim Bereng's body under false pretences.

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

10 - Joel Maketha

A former G4S official.

11 - Moeketsi Ramolula

A former G4S official linked to Bester’s escape. He has since abandoned his bail bid.

12 - Thabang Meir

A former G4S official.

All the accused face charges including that of assisting in the escape of an inmate and corruption.

So far, 10 of those accused have been granted bail. At least 18 witnesses are due to testify in the matter. The postponement to August 8 was due to further investigations.