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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor


‘She’s in pain’: Nandipha Magudumana beaten up by sangoma and mentally ill inmate?

Thabo Bester's ex-girlfriend Nandipha Magudumana claims she was assaulted by two inmates at the Kroonstad Correctional Centre on Sunday.


Nandipha Magudumana was left “bruised and in pain” following an alleged assault by a sangoma and mentally challenged woman at the Kroonstad Correctional Centre on Sunday, 17 March.

This according to Magudumana’s lawyer, advocate Machini Motloung, who is now demanding that his client be moved to another prison cell for her safety.

Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester

The disgraced doctor made headlines in April last year with her then boyfriend, the notorious “Facebook rapist” and conman Thabo Bester, in what has become one of the country’s most sensational criminal sagas.

Magudumana is among the accused facing charges of aiding and abetting Bester with his daring escape from Bloemfontein’s Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022.

JUST IN: High court dimisses Nandipha Magudumana bail bid
Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester were arrested in April, about 10km outside of Tanzania’s capital city, Arusha, after fleeing from the hotel they were staying in. Photo: Screengrab/eNCA

Magudumana claims she was assaulted in cell

Speaking to eNCA, Motloung said Magudumana contacted him to say she had been assaulted in the cells of the Free State prison on Sunday.

This follows after the deregistered doctor has apparently received several threats and encountered various issues with the inmates implicated in the assault.

Motloung claims that these threats have been reported to the relevant authorities, but no action has been taken.

Singing and prayer session allegedly ends in assault

According to her lawyer, tension has been building between Magudumana and the sangoma for quite some time.

Sunday’s assault was apparently triggered by Magudumana taking part in a singing and prayer session with other inmates.

Bruised and in pain

Asked about the injuries she sustained during the incident, Motloung told the broadcaster that he was still waiting on comprehensive feedback. He however said that she apparently nursed several bruises and was “in pain”.

The former doctor’s lawyer added that he will lay a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to guarantee his client’s safety.

Matter under investigation – DCS

In response to the allegations, Department of Correctional Services (DCS) spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, said the department is currently investigating the assault claim.

“DCS is investigating the circumstances following what was said to be a prayer meeting in a different cell from Magudamana’s. Reports of an alleged altercation and a push against the grills can be confirmed.

“DCS officials advised Magudumana to open a criminal case when she reported that she was allegedly assaulted, but she opted to discuss it with her lawyers first,” the spokesperson explained.

“Furthermore, DCS healthcare officials conducted an examination on her and found no visible injuries. The safety and well-being of inmates is our utmost priority, and we take such allegations seriously. Hence, this incident is under investigation.”

Nxumalo disputed the claim that Magudumana was assaulted by a mentally challenged inmate.

He told eNCA that mentally challenged inmates are not kept with other inmates, as they fall under the ambit of the Department of Health.

Troubled times for Magudumana?

Since her arrest in April 2024, Magudumana’s stay at Kroonstad Correctional Centre has been marred by allegations of assault and food poisoning.

On 11 October, she opened a case of common assault against the DCS, claiming she was beaten before being transported to court.

‘Tracking Thabo Bester’

On Friday, the Johannesburg High Court dismissed Bester and Magudumana’s urgent application to interdict the broadcasting of the Tracking Thabo Bester documentary on Showmax.

thabo bester nandipha magudumana
The four-part investigation of the ‘Tracking Thabo Bester’ series screens in two halves on Showmax on 15 and 22 March 2024. Image: Supplied/ Showmax

 Judge Stuart Wilson  ruled that the former couple failed to provide a legal basis for their application.

According to him, Bester and Magudumana’s papers showed a “generalised anxiety” about the Showmax documentary and they failed to prove that they would suffer real prejudice if the documentary was aired.

Pre-trial hearing postponed

Meanwhile, Bester and Magudumana appeared, along with their co-accused, in the Free State High Court on 21 February where the pre-trial hearing case of Bester was postponed to 5 June.

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