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Compiled by Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: ‘A well-known Mzansi celebrity’ listed as a contact by Thabo Bester – report

The Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee heard details of how Thabo Bester ran a successful business from inside the prison.

Convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester allegedly communicated with a well-known Mzansi celebrity before audaciously escaping from the Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) in Bloemfontein.

This was revealed by News24 journalist Karyn Maughan during an interview with Newzroom Afrika.

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

Watch the interview with Karyn Maughan

Prison records

Maughan said she spotted the celebrity’s name while contacting people who had visited Bester in prison, as per prison records.

“What’s been fascinating is, because we have the prison records, we have been phoning a number of people who visited him and a number of people he listed as contacts including a very well-known celebrity who you and I will both know, we’ve seen her on the TV screen.

“He was very involved in the entertainment industry, to the extent the 21st Century media company into which several million rand were sunk, he was able to have a gala dinner,” Maughan said.

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

Parliamentary inquiry

Earlier this month, the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee, during a two-day inquiry in Parliament, heard details of Bester’s escape from the MCC, including how he ran a successful business from inside the prison.

During the Parliamentary hearings, African National Congress (ANC) MP Xola Nqola said allowing Bester to have a personal laptop may have enabled him to commit crime while in prison.

Nqola claimed that there are reports that Bester was running a multi-million-rand company from his cell and asked what the purpose was of Bester’s authorised laptop.

However, G4S Director Cobus Groenewould said Bester had a laptop because he was studying.


Bester and his girlfriend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, were arrested in Tanzania with several passports – with multiple identities – in their possession.

Earlier this month, The Citizen revealed that Bester was found with documents that identified him as Tommy William Kelly, an American citizen, while Magudumana assumed the name Martha Patience Mmerika Nitshini.

A highly-placed source said Bester was travelling under at least nineteen aliases.

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

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