Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana back in South Africa - and behind bars

Magudumana charged with murder and violation of bodies

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Minister of Police Bheki Cele and Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola at a press briefing in Cape Town on Thursday morning. Photo: Daniel Steyn

In a press conference in Cape Town on Thursday, the Ministers of Justice and Police confirmed that murderer and rapist Thabo Bester and his accomplice Nandipha Magudumana have been successfully brought back to South Africa after being arrested in Tanzania on the weekend.

Bester escaped from Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022. Several other people have so far been arrested in relation to his escape. These include an official who was on duty the day of the escape, Senohe Matsoara, and Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, and an Integritron CCTV technician, Tebogo Lipholo.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that Magudumana cooperated with authorities in Tanzania, but Bester was not cooperative. Bester is currently held at Kgosi Mampuru prison, a C-Max prison in Pretoria, and Magudumana is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Thursday. Bester is under 24/7 surveillance.

Magudumana will be charged with aiding and abetting escape, murder, the violation of bodies, and fraud. Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola said that Magudumana had at some point been in possession of several dead bodies.

While Bester was in prison, Magudumana visited him frequently. After Bester faked his death in a prison cell fire, Magudumana collected the body found in Bester’s cell and claimed Bester’s possessions from the prison.

Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola thanked the government of Tanzania for its “unequivocal collaboration” in the process of arresting and deporting Bester and Magudumana. A Mozambican national who was arrested alongside Bester and Magudumana, did not return to South Africa.

TOPICS:  Thabo Bester prison escape

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