Bail hearing for five accused in Thabo Bester’s escape continues

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The bail hearing for five accused in the prison escape of convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester continues on Wednesday.

Senohe Matsoara and four others through their defence lawyers are attempting to convince the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court that they do not pose a flight risk should they be granted bail.

They are charged with arson, defeating the ends of justice, fraud and assisting an inmate to escape.

The legal representative for accused No. 2 Teboho Lipholo told the court that he is indigent. Lipholo is one of the five people accused of aiding convicted killer Bester to escape from prison.

In his closing arguments, Tshotlego Makamedi told the court that Lipholo’s indigence was the reason legal aid is assisting him and argued that they do not have the resources to travel to Sasolburg where Lipholo is detained.

Makamedi says there is no reason why Lipholo should be denied bail.

“The applicant indicated that if released on bail, he will stand trial and attend court appearances as he wishes to prove his innocence in this matter. He is also not in dispute that the investigating officer’s testimony still has a month or two to complete his investigations. The applicant has already spent six weeks. He is on his seven weeks now in custody and the investigations are still not yet complete.”

Bail hearing continues for Thabo Bester escape accused:

The state claims it was not its responsibility to present evidence to indicate that a crime had been committed in the case.

Prosecutor Sello Matlhoko says the accused are aware of witnesses and the nature of testimony likely to be given during the trial.

Matlhoko argues that if the accused are released on bail, that will undermine the objective of the justice system.

VIDEO: Closing arguments in the bail application on May 23:

-Additional reporting by Ishmael Modiba.