Anger and shock swirl among South Africans as more details of the Thabo Bester scandal emerge. Prisoners’ rights activist, Miles Bhudu, believes the real culprits behind the escape are still occupying high positions and enjoying taxpayers’ money. He says he hopes Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana will come to their senses and apply for a plea bargain where they will tell it all.
Bhudu says Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, should be held accountable for allegedly failing to act on this matter with urgency.
His call comes as South Africans try to digest the latest developments in the saga after authorities revealed the identity of the man whose burnt body was found in Thabo Bester’s cell 35 at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year.
His name is Katlego Mpholo and the police say they positively linked him through DNA tests with his mother. According to Mpholo’s family, the 35-year-old had been missing since April last year.
It is alleged that Mpholo collapsed in town in Bloemfontein and was taken to hospital where he died and was later transferred to a government mortuary. This theory however leaves more questions than answers as the autopsy report had said he had died due to blunt force trauma to the head. He was also already dead before the fire that was claimed to have killed Bester. As a result, his family has rejected the police report and plans on suing the state.
On questions over how the victim crossed paths with the convicted Facebook rapist and murderer, there’s speculation that a former G4S employee, Senohe Matsoara, could be the link. This after Mpholo’s father told journalists that his son had a close relationship with Motsoara.
The former G4S employee, along with his co-accused, which include Bester’s lover Dr Nandipha Magudumana, and her father, are expected back in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on the 3rd and the 4th of May. All the accused in the matter remain in custody, except for Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, who is out on R10 000 bail.
Eyes remain on the case as South Africans ponder on how Bester and his accomplices were able to get a body, they possibly presumed was a John Doe from a government mortuary and smuggled it into the maximum prison. The state’s alleged snail pace in investigating claims of Bester’s escape and the secrecy over it continue to have tongues wagging and many South Africans concerned.
Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa