Police confirm burnt body in Thabo Bester’s cell has been identified
Police won't comment further on charred body found at Mangaung prison
Picture of Mangaung Correctional Centre taken on 30 March 2023 in Bloemfontein. Picture: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw
The South African Police Service (Saps) has confirmed that the charred body found in cell 35 at the Mangaung Correctional Centre has been identified.
The body in question is believed to have been used in the escape of murderer and rapist Thabo Bester.
Bester was recently re-arrested in Tanzania.
He was with his ‘accomplices’, socialite-doctor Nandipha Magudumana and a Mozambican national who was “assisting” them at the time of his apprehension.
The identification of the body comes after a direct match was made with the DNA of the biological mother of the deceased, according to police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe.
“The family has been notified by the investigating officer (IO) and no further comment will be provided,” said Mathe.
She said as difficult as this news is, Saps is pleased to bring closure to the family.
Early on Saturday afternoon, someone tweeted that the body was that of his son.
Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein in May 2022, after it was initially believed he had committed suicide by setting himself alight in his cell.
However, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), which originally declared him dead, confirmed that the charred body found in his cell was not that of Bester.
Bester was in fact alive and at large for the last nine months.