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Three accused in Bester’s escape saga off the hook

todayOctober 11, 2023 188

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The Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court has withdrawn charges against Nastassja Jansen, Thabang Mier and Moeketsi Ramolula.

The trio was among the 12 linked to the daring escape of Facebook rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester.

This leaves a total number of people in the dock for one of South Africa’s greatest escapes to nine.

Bester’s lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, and her father Zolile Sekeleni are among the remaining suspects.

Jansen, Mier and Ramolula faced charges of aiding and abetting a prisoner to escape from lawful custody and defeating the ends of justice.

Bester, dubbed South Africa’s Houdini, made headlines after it was reported that he escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year. He had faked his death in a fire.

Speaking outside court, a free mother, Jansen says she can now continue with her life.

Mier also told our sister channel, eNCA, that the case gave him sleepless nights and he was delighted to be reunited with his family.

Proceedings continued in Dr Magudumana’s absence after it was reported that she collapsed in the holding cells due to ill health.

Her lawyer, advocate Mochidi Motloung, slammed the court for pushing for his client to be present in court despite citing being ill.

“I’ve seen her and she’s on the floor. In my years of experience practicing in these courts, I have never seen an accused person appearing in court on a stretcher because that’s the only way to bring her here.”

He says his client was not even supposed to be transported from the Kroonstad Prison because she was declared sick from yesterday.

“She’s in the cells, on the floor, these are the harshest inhumane conditions one can be subjected to, irrespective of whether you are an accused person, even accused people have rights,” says Motloung.

The magistrate announced that Magudumana’s failure to appear in court due to ill health will be dealt with separately.

The last time she appeared in court, the medic threw her lover, Bester, under the bus saying he forcefully took her out of the country.

The Bester escape matter has been transferred to the high court, where the convicted murderer and rapist will now be represented by advocates Dali Mpofu and Zandile Mshololo.

Mshololo is also representing one of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case.

February 21, 2024, has been confirmed for the pre-trial conference in the Bester matter.

 

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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