On Saturday, April 8, a South African fugitive, who faked his own death in a prison break was arrested in Tanzania
Thabo Bester, a convicted rapist, escaped from a privately-run prison in Bloemfontein in May last year; but South African police only found out last month.
He was initially presumed dead in prison but was later believed to be alive, and has now been arrested in Tanzania.
The police issued a press statement confirming the arrests of three people: Bester, his girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Zakaria Alberto.
Bester was believed to have died after setting himself on fire behind bars, but in late March police said DNA tests revealed the charred remains found in his cell were someone else’s.
Who is Thabo Bester?
Thabo Bester is the most wanted criminal in South Africa as of April 2023, after successfully escaping prison and faking his death in 2022.
He was conceived under traumatising circumstances, born into poverty, neglect and abuse, and despite the challenges, he showed great potential.
Those that knew him spoke highly of his intelligence and zeal to learn. However, things went south when he was convicted of murder and eventual infamy.
In a past interview, his mother confirmed his birth name as Thabo Bester.
Thabo Bester has South African nationality.
Bester’s mother, revealed gripping details about her son and their strained relationship.
She said the man who fathered her son had defiled her.
Thabo Bester arrest
Bester and his lover, Dr Nandipah Magudumana, were arrested on Friday night, 7th April 2023. The two were nabbed in Tanzania, 10 km away from the Kenyan border.
Bheki Cele broke the news during a briefing, saying the couple was arrested alongside a Mozambican believed to be their aide.
The Mozambican is insinuated to have facilitated the couple’s two-week run. This comes after news of the fugitive’s audacious escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre made headlines in 2022.
According to the police minister, Interpol and Crime Intelligence had been working on the case. They are said to have spotted Dr Nandipha and Bester leaving a hotel in a black SUV.
Thabo Bester crimes
In March, a chilling confession of Bester from more than a decade ago, admitting to his crimes, re-emerged.
The video resurfaced amid an active search to track down the man dubbed the “Facebook Rapist,” who faked his death and escaped prison.
In the clip filmed by forensic psychologist Dr Gerard Labuschagne in 2011, the then 23-year-old Bester acknowledges that he had raped two women and killed another.
He, however, claims that the murder was accidental, adding that if he wanted to rape and murder his victims, he would have done things differently.
Bester was found guilty raping two women in hotel rooms in 2011 after luring them on social media under the guise of being a model scout.
A year later, he was also convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend, Nomfundo Tyhulu, at a Cape Town guest house.
Thabo Bester age
Bester’s exact age and date of birth is yet to be confirmed, however, sources allege that he was 35 years old as of April 2023.
Thabo Bester real name
Thabo Bester’s real name is Nomfundo Tyhulu.
Thabo Bester lover Nandipha Magudumana
Nandipha Magudumana alias Dr Nandi, a socialite-doctor, was arrested alongside Bester in Tanzania. The two are romantically involved.
She allegedly did everything in her power to make sure her lover, Bester, was free a man. It is reported that the celebrity doctor stole three unclaimed bodies from Free State mortuaries to use in his escape plan.
According to police reports, Dr Nandi, as she is affectionately known, allegedly stole the bodies to use them as a replacement for convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester during his prison escape.
One of the bodies, which Dr Nandi claimed to be of her father, was found dumped in a river with its identification toe tag still attached, a week after she took possession of it.
The second body was that of an unknown man whom they claimed was Bester and had burnt to death at the Magaung Correctional Center in May last year. The third corpse is still unaccounted for.
It is alleged that Dr Nandi also used the bodies to claim insurance.