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Police suspected Dr Nandipha Magudamana of insurance fraud over bodies

Dr Nandipha Magudumana in court in Bloemfontein. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Nandipha Magudumana in court in Bloemfontein. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 13, 2023


Cape Town - The SAPS were left with many questions when Dr Nandipha Magudumana started claiming bodies, and they were not sure if she wanted them for insurance purposes or she was part of a syndicate dealing in body parts.

Head of the police in the Free State, Baile Motswenyane said Magudumana’s conduct was bizarre, but it was later discovered that the bodies were linked to the Mangaung prison arson case.

“When she started claiming bodies we started to check whether she was not claiming the bodies for insurance. It was not,” said Motswenyane.

She added that they also investigated whether she was part of a syndicate dealing in human body parts, but it was not the case.

They then discovered she wanted the body for Bester’s escape plan.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said this case is bigger than first thought, as they are dealing with what he called sharks.

“This case at this level, we are dealing with sardines. We are dealing with the sharks here,” said Cele.

But the investigations are ongoing and more arrests are likely, including more people who worked with Magudumana and Bester in pulling off the escape.

In the case of one body that Magudumana had claimed, she initially said it was her father, then later came back to say it was the brother of a friend, and later still, said it was her her common law husband.

Brigadier Ramorena Tsoai, from the SAPS legal services in Bloemfontein, said they were also investigating a charge where Magudumana had submitted an affidavit with a stamp from Polokwane in the North Gauteng High Court in her application to get the body to be cremated.

Tsoai said the affidavit was signed by an officer from Polokwane who had been fired in January, yet the stamped affidavit was filed in February.

This officer is also being investigated.

Motswenyane said more people are expected to be arrested on the matter.

Motswenyane and Tsoai said more charges would also be added against all accused, including Bester, Magudumana, her father Zolile Selekane and other accused persons.

National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola also told MPs that Bester’s mother had initially refused to cooperate with them when they wanted to take DNA samples to compare it with the body found in Bester’s cell.

Masemola said they had to get Bester’s mother’s relatives to get her to have DNA samples taken.

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