Court to decide on bail application of five accused in Thabo Bester escape

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Magistrate Mohlolo Khabisi is expected to hand down his verdict on the bail application of five accused in the convicted murderer and rapist, Thabo Bester’s prison escape on Monday.

The accused, who are charged with aiding and abetting Bester, will appear at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s court. They include four former G4S employees and one person who was a technician for the IT company that was responsible for installing CCTV cameras at the Mangaung Correctional Centre.

They are facing charges of arson, fraud, defeating the ends of justice and aiding and abetting an inmate.

Bester escaped prison in a staged suicide, in May last year. He was allegedly assisted by the facility’s employees.

Last week, the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court heard closing remarks from the defence as well as from the prosecution.

Legal representatives of all the accused told the court, they should be granted bail because they are primary caregivers to their respective families.

Prosecutor Sello Mathloko argued that if the accused are released on bail that will undermine the objective of the justice system.

Bester to challenge 

Meanwhile, Bester’s legal representative, Tshireledzo Ndou says they are considering challenging the procedure followed during Bester’s re-arrest and deportation from Tanzania.

Bester’s lawyer explains, “We might be considering going through the same route. But there are just a few aspects that we want to canvas with the client before that decision is taken as final. So that matter as much as we have not taken action yet, but it’s not off the table. It’s still something that we are discussing with the client and amongst us as a team.”

SABC News Chriselda Lewis talks to Bester’s lawyer Tsireledzo Ndou: