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Rapist makes cold-blooded confession

Cape Town - 120503 - A video grab from ETV's news camera of Thabo Bester - Western Cape High Court - The "Facebook Rapist", Thabo Bester, appeared in The Cape Town High Court today for the decision on his plea bargain. Neither party could agree so a trial has been set for July. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Cape Town - 120503 - A video grab from ETV's news camera of Thabo Bester - Western Cape High Court - The "Facebook Rapist", Thabo Bester, appeared in The Cape Town High Court today for the decision on his plea bargain. Neither party could agree so a trial has been set for July. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Published Aug 14, 2012

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The man dubbed the “Facebook rapist” has revealed in chilling detail how he killed a young model with whom he was having a relationship.

Thabo Bester, who made headlines for luring young women on Facebook, has struck a plea agreement with the state for the murder of Nomfundo Tyhulu, 26, at a Cape Town guest house last year.

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On Monday, Bester, who is already serving 50 years for raping and robbing two models, appeared in the Cape High Court after several postponements.

In a statement, he revealed Tyhulu’s final moments. She died after being stabbed in the chest at a Sunset Beach guest house in September last year.

Bester described how he met Tyhulu in Joburg around January 2011, when she was working at Sandton BMW and he bought a new BMW 1 series.

“There was a mutual attraction and by March we had formed an intimate relationship with each other, despite my living in Durban and she living in Johannesburg.”

The pair communicated daily via phone and SMS, and Tyhulu called him [in September 2011] to say she had a new job and would be free until she started the job on the 28th of that month.

“In consequence of this I booked a flight for her to Durban on September 16 and on the 19th we decided to fly to Cape Town where we booked into a hotel.”

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On September 21, they moved from the hotel to the Ocean Breeze bed and breakfast villas at Sunset Beach, where they shared a room.

In his statement, Bester says they argued about one of his former girlfriends that night and later went to sleep.

“She (Tyhulu) was under the impression that I wanted a permanent relationship with her.

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“At about 2am, September 22, I woke up and went to the kitchen where I decided to take a knife from the kitchen.”

Bester said he returned to the bedroom with the intention to take her cellphone and laptop.

“However, when I returned she was also awake, saw me approaching her with the knife and we became involved in a struggle for control and possession of the knife.”

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They struggled and he stabbed Tyhulu in the chest with the knife.

“I was aware at the time that a stab wound with the knife could cause her death, but nonetheless I continued to struggle with her in order to retain possession of the knife and ultimately stabbed her in the chest.”

“Straight after I stabbed her, I noticed she was bleeding profusely and lying face-down on the bed.

“I then tied her hands behind her back and asked her for the password to her computer, but at that stage she did not respond.”

“At about 7am, September 22, I took the deceased’s laptop and cellphone and asked the guest house owner for a lift into central Cape Town, whereafter I flew back to Durban.”

Bester admitted telling the owner of the guest house that Tyhulu was still sleeping and should not be woken until after 2pm.

By 9pm that day, the guest house owners became concerned that they had not heard from Tyhulu and decided to unlock the door to the room, which is when they discovered her bloodied body.

Bester will know his fate on Tuesday when he will be sentenced in the Cape High Court.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the NPA will be calling for the maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

“The NPA welcomes that Thabo Bester pleaded guilty to the murder of Nomfondo Tyhulu, who he murdered in September 2011. This is an indication of the overwhelming evidence and strong case the State had against him. This guilty plea is a victory for our resolve that we will continue to prioritise cases of abuse against women and children and we will ensure those who are found guilty of these crimes pay for their actions.”

 

Timeline

August 19, 2011: A 24-year-old model from Joburg is raped and stabbed in the face in Durban.

August 26, 2011: A 26-year-old model from Joburg is raped in a B&B in Westville, Durban.

September 21, 2011: Nomfundo Tyhulu, 26, is murdered in a B&B in Milnerton.

October 6, 2011: Police say Bester has started e-mailing women, this time under another name.

October 2011: The Durban Regional Court sentenced Bester to 50 years in prison for raping and robbing two women.

August 13, 2012: Bester enters into a plea agreement with the state for the murder of Nomfundo Tyhulu.

August 14, 2012: Sentencing expected in the Western Cape High Court.

 

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Cape Argus

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