Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist


Bail hearing of five accused in Thabo Bester escape case set to resume

Last week, the state’s only witness, an investigating officer, was cross-examined by the defence.


The state and defence for the five people accused of helping convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escape from prison last year are expected to make closing arguments in their bail hearing.

Thabo Bester prison escape

The bail hearing of former G4S employees Senohe Matsoara, Buti (Motenyane John) Masukela, Tieho Frans Makhotsa and Nastassja Jansen and Integriton CCTV technician Teboho James Lipholo will resume on Tuesday in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester: Bail hearing of five accused postponed for closing arguments

The state is opposing their bail applications.

Bester escaped from G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year after it was initially believed that he had died after setting himself alight in his cell. An investigation revealed that the charred body that was used as a decoy in the escape was that of Free State resident Katlego Bereng.

WATCH: Thabo Bester saga: Closing arguments in bail application

Cross-examination

Last week, the state’s only witness, an investigating officer, was cross-examined by the lawyers of the five accused.

RELATED: No evidence of payment to accused in Thabo Bester’s prison escape

The witness previously told the court that there was evidence linking the accused individuals to Bester’s escape, and detailed the specific roles each individual played in the incident.

He also claimed that releasing the accused on bail would likely result in unrest and intimidation of witnesses.

The defence lawyers, on the other hand, argued for the release of their clients. Among their arguments, the lawyers denied that the accused were involved in Bester’s daring prison escape, saying that there were no flight risks, and would not intimidate witnesses or evade trial.

Last week, Bester and his alleged accomplice and girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana made virtual court appearances and their case was postponed to 20 June to allow for further police investigations.

The pair were remanded in custody until then, while another accused in the case, Magudumana’s father, Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni, is out on R10 000 bail.

Magudumana is also challenging her arrest in Tanzania last month, claiming she was unlawfully arrested and abducted.

The application is set to be heard on Thursday in the Bloemfontein High Court.

NOW READ: Home Affairs to revoke Magudumana’s passport, demands that she drops her case challenging arrest

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