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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

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

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre after it was initially believed that he had committed suicide by setting himself alight.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Glynnis Breytenbach ripped into G4S’ presentation surrounding the escape of convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester, saying the security company’s 21-page report is “completely exculpatory”.

She said G4S takes no responsibility for Bester’s escape.

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

G4S, which dodged the meeting last week, has been grilled about the events leading up to the Facebook rapist’s escape.

Watch DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach grilling G4S about Thabo Bester’s escape.

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre on 3 May 2022, after it was initially believed he had committed suicide by setting himself alight in his cell.

Three investigations into Bester’s escape

G4S’s presentation looked into three investigations commissioned into Bester’s escape including Saps criminal investigation, Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services’ (JICS) independent investigation into an unnatural death and the MCC’s compliance investigation.

Breytenbach said their report is “completely exculpatory”. She said there was nothing in the G4S report that was not already in the public domain. “You don’t tell us what happened, how it happened.”

“Our obligation is to investigate internally. Honourable member, with respect, it is harsh to say we did nothing,” said G4S Director Cobus Groenewoud.

To which Breytenbach replied that she does not really care.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Nothing wrong with Thabo Bester having personal laptop in prison, says G4S

Lifestyle audits

The infuriated MP then said she would have expected further details about the officials against whom action had been taken and had been fired in the report “instead of this whitewash”.

She asked if G4S does lifestyle audits on its employees.

Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) head Joseph Monyante said it is not necessary to do lifestyle audits.

Angry Breytenbach

The response further infuriated Breytenbach further.

“I beg your pardon? Do you want to repeat that? You employ people to look after hardened criminals and you don’t think its necessary to do lifestyle audits on your staff who have access to money, who are known for bribery and corruption. Are you saying your staff is above that?”

While G4S previously, on Wednesday, told the joint committee that the Mangaung Correctional Centre was one of the highest rated prisons in the country, it could not explain where Bester got the lighter or matches to set the cell ablaze.

Besides G4S, the committee is also expecting the company in charge of surveillance cameras at the prison to explain the security lapses.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester: Pic of one of two of Dr Pashy’s passports found in Dr Nandipha’s luggage

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