South Africa

Thabo Bester: Nandipha Magudumana to apply for bail

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Free State has confirmed that convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester’s girlfriend Nandipha Magudumana will be applying for bail.

It is understood that Magudumana brought an application for bail to the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

Free State NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said: “She brought an application and that application will be set for tomorrow and Wednesday.”

Previous application

Magadumana previously reserved her right to bail in May 2023 pending the outcome of an application to have her arrest and extradition from Tanzania declared unlawful.

On 5 June, Judge Phillip Loubser dismissed the application on the grounds that Magudumana gave consent to her return when she told police that she wanted to go back to South Africa to see her children.

Magudumana appealed the decision and on 18 July 2023, Judge Loubser rejected the argument presented by Magudumana’s lawyer that his client can never consent to “an illegality” for her return when she told police that she wanted to go back to South Africa to see her children.

The court found that the process used to bring Magudumana back to the country was extradition “without due process” rather than a deportation.

Loubser added that Magudumana’s rights were not violated when she was extradited and threw out Magudumana’s appeal application with costs.

ALSO READ: Lovebirds Thabo Bester and Nandipha reunite for first time after arrest

Other accused

Magudumana is facing charges of fraud, corruption, arson, violation of a body and defeating the ends of justice for her alleged role in the prison escape of Bester.

The other accused involved in the escape include: Magudumana’s father Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni, former G4S employees Senohe Matsoara, Buti (Motenyane John) Masukela, Tieho Frans Makhotsa, Nastassja Jansen, Joel Maketha, Moeketsi Ramolula, Thabang Meir, Integriton CCTV technician Teboho James Lipholo and Zando Moyo, and a Zimbabwean national who allegedly helped Magudumana claim a body under false pretences.

Six of the accused have successfully applied for bail.

Escape and arrest

Bester and Magudumana were arrested in April, about 10km out of Arusha in Tanzania, after fleeing the hotel they were staying in.

The Facebook rapist escaped from the G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) in Bloemfontein in May 2022, after it was initially believed he had committed suicide by setting himself alight in his cell.

However, the Department of Correctional Services South Africa, which originally declared him dead, confirmed that the charred body found in his cell was not that of Bester.

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