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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Thabo Bester: Katlego Bereng’s family lays charges against G4S and health dept

Thabo Bester escaped from the G4S-run MCC in May 2022, after it was initially believed he committed suicide by setting himself alight.

The family of Katlego Bereng, the man whose body was found charred in the cell of convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester at the Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC), has laid criminal charges against security company G4S and the health department with the help of ActionSA.

Katlego’s family and ActionSA laid the charges at Park Road Police Station in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.


Bereng’s body, which was found burnt in cell 35 at the MCC, is believed to have been used as a decoy in the escape of Bester in May last year.

The autopsy report showed that he had paraffin in his trachea when he was set alight.

The autopsy, conducted in May 2022 before the body was identified as Katlego’s, also showed that he had died due to blunt force trauma to the head and was already dead before the prison caught fire.


ActionSA Free State spokesperson Nomawethu Sbukwana said Katlego’s family wanted answers about what happened to him.

“[We] Arrived at Park Road Police Station together with Katlego Bereng’s father to open criminal charges against G4S and FS Department of Health for contravening National Health Act No.61 of 2003. Basically, we want answers on how did Katlego’s body leave the mortuary and how did it get to G4S and what was the purpose,” said Sbukwana.

ALSO READ: Tanzanian Police probe how Thabo Bester and Nandipha slipped through checkpoints

Criminal justice system

Meanwhile, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said South Africa’s criminal justice system was in a “state of crisis.”

“The Thabo Bester case, among other unreported cases, has reminded us of the state of our country and how unsafe it is to be a woman in South Africa.

“A convicted criminal who has committed heinous crimes managed to escape prison and the country to live a lavish life, undetected. This is unacceptable. We need to restore the rule of law. Criminals must live in fear, and citizens must live in peace,” Mashaba said.


Bester escaped from the G4S-run MCC 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: Paraffin found in Katlego Bereng’s body autopsy reveals

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ActionSA Herman Mashaba Mangaung Police Thabo Bester

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