Johannesburg – In a twist in convicted killer and rapist Thabo Bester’s case, police confirmed that an investigator who is also the provincial head of organised crime in the Free State in the fugitive's escape matter died today.
It is reported that the senior SAPS member allegedly committed suicide at his workplace. The officer earlier today attended the court matter where Bester’s girlfriend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, lost her application in the high court to declare her arrest in Tanzania "unlawful".
Magudumana was slapped with a ruling to cover the costs of two counsels.
At this point, the police are not at liberty to release the name of the officer or the motive.
SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed the incident on Monday afternoon.
"The SAPS can confirm the death of one of the investigators into the Thabo Bester escape case. Circumstances surrounding the senior officer's death, who is also the provincial head of organised crime in the Free State, remain the subject of a police investigation," said Mathe.
She added: "The SAPS management wishes not to discuss this matter in the public domain at this early stage."
Mathe said that in-house health and wellness experts, which include chaplains, have been dispatched to provide psychosocial services to the family and colleagues of the deceased member.
National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola has described the member as a hard working, loyal, and a dedicated detective with 31 years of service. “ Over the years, he has proven himself to be a highly skilled detective with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the detective environment. His departure leaves a void in the SAPS detective environment.”
Magudumana and Bester were arrested in April this year in Arusha, Tanzania. Last week, she filed an urgent application, claiming that she was abducted from that country in a disguised deportation.
Tanzania said that Bester and Magudumana were in that country illegally.