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Dr Nandipha Magudumana visited Thabo Bester in prison regularly from 2017

Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana Picture: Se-Anne Rall

Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana Picture: Se-Anne Rall

Published Apr 12, 2023


Cape Town: Multinational security company G4S has revealed that Dr Nandipha Magudumana visited Thabo Bester regularly at Mangaung prison from 2017, before the Facebook rapist executed his daring escape.

Gert Byleveld, who is head of audit and risk at the G4S-run Mangaung prison, said Magudumana started visiting Bester in 2017.

He also admitted had Bester had visited private hospitals in the past few years and had been attended to by specialists.

This followed questions from parliamentarians on Wednesday on Bester’s escape from the Mangaung prison in May last year.

Byleveld said they would not stop visits by people from outside except when there were legal grounds to do so.

They would not have stopped Magudumana visiting Bester on a regular basis.

He said Magudumana visited Bester from 2017 until November 2021, just a few months before Bester escaped from the prison.

The head of the Mangaung prison, Joseph Monyate, revealed that there were 23 officials on duty on the day Bester escaped.

But it was Senohe Matsoara, who was the supervisor on duty, who directed officials to go to different places when a fire engulfed Cell 35, where Bester was kept.

Officials from G4S also came under fire for not properly inspecting the laptop that Bester was using in his cell.

Bester had obtained a laptop because he was studying a graphic design course at Damelin, MPs were told.

Byleveld and Monyate did not know when Bester was supposed to have completed his course.

They were told his course finished in 2021 and it did not make sense that he still had his laptop in May 2022 when he escaped.

They said this would form part of an investigation as to why Bester had kept a laptop beyond the required period.

G4S officials also said that a few days before Bester had escaped on May 3, he had applied to be placed in a single cell because he was under threat from gangs as he could not pay an alleged protection fee.

Byleveld said Maguduma’s visits were regular for a period of four years. She stopped visiting in November 2021.

“She started visiting in 2017. I wouldn’t want to commit myself but it was in 2017. Visits are monitored and stopped when there are reasons for it, when it is legal and not just stopped,” said Byleveld.

He added that they had tightened some of the security measures at the Mangaung prison.

Monyate also told lawmakers that Bester had visited private hospitals five times in 2015 and once in 2016.

Matsoara, along with Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, are police custody and have been charged with the murder of the unknown man in Cell 35.

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