Thabo Bester also known as the Facebook rapist, a South African who was convicted of rape and murder, was arrested again in Tanzania on Friday night. This was announced by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, during a press conference in Pretoria on Saturday, News24 reported.
The press conference was attended by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, Police Minister Bheki Cele, and National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Fanie Masemola. Lamola announced that the convicted murderer was arrested with his accomplices, including socialite-doctor Nandipha Magudumana and a Mozambican national who was helping them. Lamola said:
An official delegation from South Africa comprising senior officials from the police, justice and correctional services will depart for Tanzania tomorrow. They will be received and assisted by the office the High Commissioner in Tanzania.
We are confident that we will receive maximum cooperation from our sister nation of Tanzania, to assist us to bring these fugitives to justice. The level cooperation has been exemplary thus far.
Police Minister Bheki Cele stated that the suspects were arrested in Arusha, Tanzania, and had multiple passports with them, none of which were stamped. They were caught 10 kilometres from the Kenyan border and appeared to be heading into another country.
Thabo Bester, known as the “Facebook rapist,” used the social media platform to lure young women with promises of advancing their careers in modelling and entertainment. However, he would rape, assault, and rob them instead. He was found guilty of two rape charges and one murder charge in separate trials in 2011 and 2012, and he received an effective life sentence.
Bester and Magudumana had been evading the authorities since it was discovered last month that Bester had escaped from prison. At first, it was thought that Bester had died in a fire at the Mangaung maximum-security prison in May 2022. Magudumana claimed the burned body as her “customary wife,” according to Cele. However, the state has now confirmed that the body collected by Magudumana was not Bester’s.
Cele stated that the state has not yet identified the deceased. According to a joint statement by the police and justice ministries on Saturday, the body found was not that of Thabo Bester, and a murder case is being investigated based on the outcome of the DNA analysis. The autopsy report revealed that the deceased had died due to blunt force trauma to the head and was dead before the arson incident occurred.
Case against Magudumana
Cele said that Magudumana claimed the bodies of a mother and father from the Mangaung maximum-security prison in addition to the burned body she claimed as her “customary wife.” Cele also stated that Magudumana helped Bester escape from prison and will be charged for that.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola stated that the Tanzanian authorities will advise on what steps need to be taken to bring Magudumana back to South Africa since she was in Tanzania illegally. In the case of Bester, Lamola said that it is a clear case of deportation since he has already been tried, convicted, and escaped from a South African prison. Lamola also expects a separate process for the deportation of the Mozambican national.
National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Fanie Masemola stated that they have not yet determined how and where the Mozambican national joined the accused. He also mentioned that they are investigating how the suspects travelled all the way to Tanzania. Masemola added that the passports of the accused were not stamped and it is unclear if they travelled by car and crossed non-official borders. The team sent to Tanzania will verify these facts, but Masemola could not confirm how long they will stay there. He assured the public that the nation will be updated for as long as the team is in Tanzania.
Source: Pindula News