Thabo Bester, a high-profile convicted murderer, is accused of faking his own death in a fire, and then escaping prison to live in the open with his celebrity doctor girlfriend.
Along with his famous medical girlfriend Nandipha Magudumana, he was detained. As of right now, her father and a jail warden are accused of killing, setting ablaze, and assisting Bester in escaping.
The intentional murder of an unnamed person was allegedly committed in March by Zolile Sekeleni and Senohe Matsoara, a prison warden who has since been suspended. The two men showed up in Bloemfontein, South Africa, at a magistrate’s court.
No plea was sought from them, and the charges were not further described. The case was continued to April 17 in anticipation of a potential bail application.
After it was believed that Bester had perished in a fire in his Bloemfontein prison cell, he remained at large for a year. After a further post-mortem examination proved the body wasn’t truly his last month, a manhunt was started.
Following their arrest last week, he and the famous doctor are currently in a prison in the Tanzanian city of Arusha under intense police protection. Officials from South Africa have been to Tanzania to arrange for the deportation of the couple.
South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world, was outraged by Bester’s escape.
He was referred to as the “Facebook rapist” because he attracted his victims through social networking sites. He was found guilty of raping and killing his model girlfriend Nomfundo Tyhulu in 2012. He had been convicted of raping and robbing two other women a year earlier.
After being on the run since Bester’s escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May of last year, where Bester was serving a life sentence for murder and a number of rape charges, the two were finally apprehended in Tanzania on Friday.
How was Thabo Bester and his girlfriend arrested?
According to senior police officials familiar with the investigation, the pair was apprehended over the Easter holiday weekend by “sheer chance” as a result of a normal police roadblock on the route to the Kenyan border.
“We were not actively looking for the couple in that country because our intelligence informed us that they were either in Zimbabwe or Mozambique,” one of the sources said.
The source claimed when Magudumana and Bester were arrested on Friday they said they were on their way to Kenya for a holiday.
“The police asked for identification and realised that the couple had entered Tanzania illegally,” the source said.
“Their passports didn’t have a stamp of entry and they had multiple passports. This raised an alarm and that is how they were detained. They only discovered who the couple were when they reached the police station and interrogated them.”
Who was Thabo Bester victim, Nomfundo Tyhulu?
On September 21, 2011, Thabo Bester killed Nomfundo Tyhulu, age 26, in a B&B in Sunset Beach, Cape Town. Her laptop and cell phone were taken when he fled to Durban after stabbing her in the chest.
In January 2011, Nomfundo sold Thabo Bester a new car at a BMW store in Sandton, Johannesburg. In March 2011, they began a long-distance romance, and in September 2011, they took a vacation together by flying to Cape Town.
Thabo Bester went to Durban after killing Nomfundo with a knife the night they arrived in Cape Town. When he checked out of the B&B, he advised the front desk employees not to wake up his girlfriend until after 2 o’clock.
Thabo Bester managed to elude law enforcement in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town until being apprehended in October 2011.
Thabo Bester was given a life sentence for killing his girlfriend after entering a guilty plea to the robbery and murder of Nomfundo in August 2012. In addition, he received a 25-year prison term for robbery with special circumstances.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court reduced the sentence to 30 years in April 2013. Thabo Beser was asked by the State numerous times why he killed his girlfriend, but he was unable to respond. According to Thabo Bester, his initial assumption was that by stabbing Nomfundo, she may leave him with money in her possession.