Police have arrested a 31-year-old Zimbabwean national for allegedly helping convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escape custody.
So far, nine people, including Bester, have been arrested.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said police made the arrest on Sunday morning in Johannesburg.
“At this stage, he faces a charge of assisting an image to escape from lawful custody. The suspect is likely to face more charges. He is due to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, June 13, she said.
Mathe added that the possibility of police effecting more arrests cannot be ruled out.
It is understood that Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein in May 2022 with the help of G4S and Integriton employees. His lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, was also arrested when police tracked the couple down in Tanzania in April this year.
To date, police have arrested former G4S prison warder Senohe Matsoara, Magudumana's father 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.
Meanwhile, Magudumana’s legal team is preparing to appeal the Bloemfontein High Court’s decision that dismissed her urgent application to declare her arrest in Tanzania unlawful. This is after the high court in Bloemfontein ruled that Magudumana had to remain in custody.
The court found Magudumana was, in fact, extradited to South Africa and not deported, but deemed this to be lawful as she had consented, telling officials she wanted to be with her children.
The State’s case against the accused suffered a blow last week following the death of one of the lead investigators, Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi. It is alleged that he shot himself. Mathe said the circumstances surrounding the senior officer’s death remained the subject of a police investigation.