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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Three former G4S employees in Thabo Bester escape case get bail

In passing judgment, Judge Mhlambi said there was no flight risk after two of their co-accused were granted bail.


Three former G4S employees have been granted bail in the ongoing Thabo Bester escape saga following an appeal to the Bloemfontein High Court in the Free State.  

Teboho James Lipholo, Senohe Ishmael Matsoara and Tieho Makhotsa were granted bail of R10 000 each after Judge Joseph Mhlambi overturned the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court’s decision to deny them bail.

Not flight risks

In passing judgment, Judge Mhlambi said there was no public outcry after two of their co-accused were granted bail before the trio’s appeal and that they were not flight risks.

“I am of the view that the appellants are not a flight risk. I find that there is neither a likelihood that they will influence or intimidate witnesses nor undermine the criminal justice system if they were to be released on bail.

“The imposition of appropriate bail conditions will, in my view limit any risk that they may not stand their trial. The appeal should succeed and all the three appellants must be granted bail with appropriate conditions,” he said.

Bail conditions

The judge imposed strict bail conditions on the accused including that they are not allowed to contact any witnesses, directly or indirectly, and are not allowed to leave Bloemfontein without the permission of the investigating officer.

The trio who face charges of fraud, corruption and defeating the ends of justice were also ordered to report to the Kagisanong Police Station on Mondays between the hours of 6am in the morning and 6pm in the evening.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester escape: One of three ex-G4S employees granted bail

G4S employees

Earlier this week, one of the three former G4S officials linked to the escape of Bester was also granted bail.

The state opposed bail for the other two accused in the matter.

The former G4S prison officials Thabang Mier, 37, Joel Makhetha, 47, and Moeketsi Ramolula, 47, appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Mier was released on R10 000 bail, while Makhetha and Ramolula have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on 11 July for a formal bail application.

Arrests

Twelve people, including Bester and his lover Dr. Nandipha Magadumana and her father Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni have been arrested for Bester’s escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year, after he faked his death.

ALSO READ: Police arrest more G4S employees involved in Thabo Bester escape

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Dr Nandipha Free State g4s Thabo Bester

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