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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


WATCH: ‘Thabo Bester will be guarded by highly trained officers’

The plane carrying Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha from Tanzania to SA landed at the Lanseria Airport in the early hours of Thursday morning


Fugitive and convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester has been readmitted into the Kgosi Mampuru Central Maximum correctional facility and highly trained officers will be guarding him 24 hours a day.

His accomplice and ‘customary wife’ Dr Nandipha Magudumana has been taken to Bloemfontein, where she will appear in court later today (Thursday 13 April).

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola and Police Minister Bheki Cele were briefing the media on Thursday morning following the arrival of Bester and his girlfriend and Dr Nandipha Magudumana back to South Africa.

Cele said Dr Nandipha had cooperated with officials in Tanzania, while Bester was much less cooperative.

Watch: Highly trained officers will be guarding Thabo Bester 24 hours.

Back in SA

The plane carrying the pair from Arusha in Tanzania to South Africa landed at the Lanseria Airport in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The duo were arrested in Tanzania, just 10km from the Kenyan border with several passports – with multiple identities – in their possession

Lamola said the high-level delegation led by the Department of Home Affairs sent to Tanzania on Monday 09 April 2023 successfully concluded the deportation of the fugitives.

“We can confirm that these fugitives have been returned to South Africa. Mr. Thabo Bester has been readmitted into the Kgosi Mampuru Central Maximum correctional facility and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana is under arrest, pending her first court appearance.”

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana back in SA

Bester under 24/7 guard

Correctional Services Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale said Bester will be under 24/7 guard – including who he is in contact with. 

“High profile and high-risk offenders have been admitted to this section of the prison without incident. Obviously in that facility we have different sections, we chose to accommodate him at C-Max because we are also looking at the intensity of the security and the contact we need to manage around him, given the type of offender he is.” Thobakgale said

Cooperation with other countries

Lamola and Bheki Cele thanked the government of Tanzania for its “unequivocal co-operation in the matter.”

“We will endeavour to emulate this level of co-operation with other countries in areas of mutual legal assistance and related matters.”

“We are grateful to all the role players seized with this matter thus far, this includes state agencies and members of the public who have shared information that has assisted in the detention of the two fugitives,” Lamola said.

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.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana arrested in Tanzania

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