Bereng family to sue state in the Thabo Bester prison escape case

Reading Time: 3 minutes

While the state prepares for the pre-trial in Thabo Bester’s prison escape case, the Bereng family says it is preparing to sue the state.

The family says they want answers about what happened to their son and how his body ended up in Bester’s cell.

The body of 33-year-old Katlego Bereng ended up at the G4S Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein when he was not a convicted criminal.

The pre-trial hearing will take place at the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein.

Nine accused are expected to appear before the court where a pre-trial conference will take place to assess the readiness of the defence to proceed with the case.

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022.

He was arrested together with his lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, in Tanzania last April.

G4S employees stand accused of aiding Bester to escape.

Bereng’s family opened a case against the Free State Health Department, Correctional Services and the G4S prison last year following the discovery that Bereng’s body was used as a decoy in Bester’s escape from prison.

Bereng’s father, Batho Mpholo, says they will be taking the legal route.

“We sat down as a family, we said let’s gather information, let’s include lawyers, so we are busy gathering information, so as soon as we have enough evidence, which we still have information that suggests that something was not done right.”

“We are still in the process of taking legal action against G4S, against the Department of Health. We will update as soon as we start with the case but at the moment we are still contacting our lawyers to make sure that we have the correct information, enough evidence to start a legal suit against the said department because we believe so far we have enough evidence that there is a foul play.”


Bereng’s mother, Monica Matsie, says she is now suffering from depression.

Matsie has also expressed disappointment that the suspects have been granted bail and is calling for justice.

“All I know is that I want justice to prevail. I want to know what exactly happened for my son to end up in that prison, that is when I will have peace because now I can’t even sleep, thinking about my son.”

Legal analyst, Dikeledi Moeti expects the pre-trial conference to be short due to accused number nine, Zimbabwean national, Zanda Moyo’s legal representative withdrawing from the case.

Moeti says, “One of the accused, I think it’s Mr Moyo, the attorney has withdrawn from representing him therefore tomorrow he will be given a chance whether he’s going to appoint a legal attorney of private or the state or he will represent himself. And then how long it’s going to take for him to come up with those results. And once he has the attorney and the matter is going to be postponed for the attorney to be available for the day of the next postponement date.”

A total of 12 people were arrested in the matter. The state has withdrawn the case against three accused.

Zanda Moyo, Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Bester remain in custody.

The eight other accused face charges of aiding and abetting Bester to escape lawful custody, violation of a dead body, fraud, corruption and arson.

Background | Thabo Bester prison escape case: