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Fugitive Thabo Bester and his girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana.
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Two more arrested in Thabo Bester case

By Ntombi Mhlongo

Two more people have been arrested in connection with the Hollywood-like prison escape of South African national Thabo Bester which has captivated the world.

The latest developments were announced by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in a press statement issued on Monday. The SAPS said a 39–year-old former G4S employee and a 65-year-old man from Port Edward, in the Eastern Cape are expected to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday following their arrest as investigations into the Bester escape from prison unfold.

It is stated that the multi-disciplinary team investigating Bester’s escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre arrested the duo over the past weekend. The former G4S employee was arrested at his residence in Bloemfontein on Saturday while the 65-year-old man was arrested on Friday at his home in Port Edward.

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“Both suspects have been charged with aiding and abetting a convicted prisoner to escape from lawful custody,” reads part of the statement.

Bester made a darring escape from the Maximum Prison in Mangaung in 2022 when he allegedly ‘burnt beyond recognition’ in his solitary cell. The body was then claimed by his girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

He enjoyed life on the outside until he was recently spotted at a shopping centre in Johannesburg accompanied by Magudumana. After that, the couple went on the run and was arrested on Saturday in Tanzania as they tried to cross to Kenya.

South African news site, IOL reported that Bester allegedly paid prison warders E5 million to secure his freedom. Investigations at the prison have hit numerous road block with claims that the management of the centre is refusing to release footage of the escape.

Fugitive Thabo Bester after he was arrested in Tanzania.
Fugitive Thabo Bester after he was arrested in Tanzania.

IOL further reports that inmates who witness the escape wrote a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola but the G4S management failed to deliver the letter. 

Meanwhile, it was reported that the delegation led by the SAPS’sDeputy National Commissioner responsible for Policing, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili has arrived in Arusha, Tanzania.

The team is currently engaged with their Tanzanian counterparts to finalise all legal processes required towards bringing Bester and his accomplices to justice in South Africa.

It is also mentioned that the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola has welcomed the latest arrests and confirmed that the possibility of more arrests could not be ruled out.

“General Masemola has again reiterated the appeal to media and the public to exercise patience and allow the investigators the space to conduct the investigations with no undue pressure and expectation,” the SAPS mentioned.

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