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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Thabo Bester: Employee arrested for allegedly manipulating cameras at Mangaung Prison

North West police also seized a white Porsche Cayenne vehicle believed to belong to Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

Police have confirmed that a 44-year-old employee contracted to a company that installs CCTV cameras at the Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) where convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escaped from, has been arrested while another who was allegedly driving Dr Nandipha’s car is in custody and being questioned by authorties.

It is understood that a joint operation by the Gauteng Organised Crime Unit and Department of Correctional Services (DCS) handcuffed the suspects on Wednesday night.

The contracted employee allegedly manipulated the Mangaung Correctional Centres (MCC) cameras, for a fee, on the night and morning that Bester made a getaway.


Police spokesperson Atlenda Mathe said the man was arrested in Bloemfontein.

“The third person was arrested in Bloemfontein. He is an emloyee contracted to a company that installs and maintains camera for G4S at the prison. He’s facing three charges, aiding and abetting a convicted prisoner to escape from lawful custody, violating a dead body and defeating the ends of justice.

Mathe said the man is expected to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court on Thursday, 13 April 2023.

Dr Nandipha Magudumana car seized

Mathe said North West police also seized a white Porsche Cayenne vehicle believed to belong to Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

“The fourth person, a 28-year-old is in police custody and is being questioned by police so charges will be formulated at a later stage. He was found driving Nandipha’s (Magudumana) white Porche,” Mathe said.

Net closing in

The National Commissioner of Saps, General Fannie Masemola said police are closing the net on those responsible for aiding Bester to escape from lawful custody.

“Anyone who knows that they are involved in this case are warned to hand themselves over to authorities. Either they hand themselves in or we fetch them ourselves”,Masemola said.

Nandipha’s father

On Monday, Dr Nandipha’s father and a former G4S employee appeared briefly on Tuesday in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of assisting an inmate to escape from lawful custody, defeating the ends of justice, fraud, murder and arson.

This follows their arrests during the Easter long weekend for aiding and abetting Bester’s escape from Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year, after he faked his death.


G4S was grilled in Parliament on Wednesday, the first day of a two-day inquiry by the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee into the escape of Bester.

G4S Director Cobus Groenewoud told the committee that the CCTV cameras were not working on the morning of the Facebook rapist’s escape.

Cameras not working

“The CCTV system was fully operational, except for the cameras covering the unit where inmate Bester was held and the administrative building.

“The video cameras for the administrative building and Broadway functions on the same circuit were not recording footage during the period between 7.38pm on May 2 and 4.11am on May 3.

“A power interruption to the circuit’s recording device was reported by the external security system service provider on May 4, and two central control room officials and an on-site night-duty supervisor failed to follow prison policies and procedures,” Groenewoud said.

ALSO READ: G4S insists Mangaung ‘one of most secure’ SA prisons, despite Thabo Bester blunders

Two figures running away

Groeneoud said there were no other power interruptions at MCC recorded during this time.

“Two central control room officials failed to follow clearly established MCC policies and procedures and did not monitor and report events in a timely manner.

“Distant CCTV footage shows two unidentified figures running towards the administrative building where CCTV cameras were temporarily not recording,” he said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Thabo Bester – DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach rips into G4S report

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