ANOTHER G4S employee has been arrested in connection with Thabo Bester's escape plot. The 51-year-old security guard is the second one to be arrested after prison warder Senohe Matsoara.
April 20, 2023
5 min read
Another G4S employee arrested in connection with Thabo Bester escape plot
Facebook Rapist and Murderer, Thabo Bester
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South African national police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the man was arrested at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein on Tuesday where Bester escaped from on May 3, 2022.
The guard was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Mathe said the man faced charges of assisting an inmate to escape from lawful custody and defeating the ends of justice.
Other people who have been arrested in connection with Bester's escape include celebrity aesthetics doctor, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, her father, Zolile Sekeleni, and Integritron Integrated Solutions employee, Teboho Lipholo.
Bester, who was serving a life sentence at the time of his escape, was arrested in Tanzania with Magumudana.
He is currently being held at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison
Convicted “Facebook rapist” and murderer Bester used various aliases to lure young women and run a scam while serving a life sentence at the Mangaung Correctional Centre.
Upon their arrest in Tanzania earlier this month, Bester and Magudumana were found with several passports under different names.
The couple was brought back to South Africa in a chartered flight that cost R1.4m.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed the identity of Bester but said there was no record of him at the department and he “simply doesn't exist” on the department's database.
According to reports, Bester had up to 13 aliases, including Thomas Bester, Tom Bester, Tom Motsepe, Thabo Tom Bester, Tom Kelly, Thomas Kelly Bester, Thomas Berter, TK Nkwana, Robert, Thomas Kelly Young, Tommy William Kelly, Thomas Magagula, Thabo Magagu and Rufus Mahopo.
Reports show that Bester used these different aliases to lure young women and run a scam while serving a life sentence in prison.
Here are some of the shenanigans he pulled while using these names.
The Sunday Times revealed Bester and Magudumana enjoyed “getaways” together while he was in prison and in the months before his escape.
The couple stayed at the Tredenham Boutique Hotel in Bloemfontein for five nights in March 2022 and again for one night in April using the name “TK Nkwana”.
Three weeks after their April visit, Bester escaped from Mangaung Correctional Centre.
Bester ran a bogus events and production company, 21st Century Media, where he posed as the chairperson.
A glitzy launch of his company was held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, attended by guests including celebrities Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Amanda Du Pont.
As the chairperson, he went by the name “Tom Motsepe” and attended via video call as he was apparently “in New York” at the time.
The attendees even sang happy birthday to Bester, who appeared in a suit and sporting a luxury watch seated in front of a white wall.
Thomas K Bester
A Cape Town salon owner Nomaxabiso Xhotyeni told Sunday Times Bester introduced himself as “Thomas K Bester”, CEO of TV channel MTV Base, when he walked into her hair salon.
Bester walked into the Table View salon, flanked by five young women, in April 2011.
“It’s not a day I can easily forget as everything about that day was so dramatic. Even the staff remember it like it had just happened. A conman tried to trick us into doing five girls’ hair without paying a cent,” said Xhotyeni.
“He earlier called from the Commodore Hotel at the V&A Waterfront where he was staying with some models that he wanted to bring to the salon.
“I remember when they walked in, we were stunned by their looks. Bester was a very charming, well-spoken and handsome guy ... everyone gushed about his looks. He gave me his business card with the name Thomas K Bester on it. I kept the business card as a souvenir until I moved houses a few years ago. I decided to discard it after thinking why on earth I was keeping a business card of a murderer and rapist.”
Thabo Bester's friend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana
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Tommy William Kelly
Motsoaledi said Bester was using an American passport with the name “Tommy William Kelly”.
He said only the US government could determine the authenticity of the passport.
“Whether real or defrauded, we can’t tell because we don’t have an American system, but he never purported or showed any passport which he said he got from us because we never gave him any,” the minister said.
“That passport, under the name of Tommy William Kelly, it never crossed any border or any official port of entry, whether air, sea or land. There is no indication that passport was ever used. We do not know why he was carrying it but he never used it at any time.”
Some of Bester’s childhood friends, whose identities were withheld, were shocked when they discovered “Robert” was the “Facebook rapist”.
Speaking to News24, one of the friends said “Robert” disappeared when he was about 15 years old.
“I’m sad about the whole thing. It felt like he was a brother to me, but it seems even as a child he was doing it [deceiving people]. He was polite and the nicest person. It seems to be his modus operandi and [it fooled] even my mother and father. I felt he was the brother I never had, so it’s sad, the whole thing,” he told the publication. – News24/Sunday Times