Five accused in Thabo Bester escape case back in court for bail bid

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The five accused in convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester’s case will be back in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

They exclude Bester’s partner Dr Nandipha Magudumana, who has made an urgent application in the High Court in the Free State to be discharged.

The five are accused of assisting Bester to escape from the Bloemfontein Correctional Centre in May last year. They will hear their fate in their bail application.

Legal expert Dikeledi Moeti says Magudumana’s urgent application to declare her arrest in Tanzania, alongside Bester, unlawful will be tricky as she has not yet applied for bail.

“Remember Dr Nandipha has suspended her bail application, which is the bail on its own is urgent. Now she wants again to make an urgent application to be released while she suspended her urgency for bail application. According to our SA law, it’s not likely to say that this application is urgent.”

Bail application

The defence in Bester’s case has another chance to convince the court that the five accused are eligible for bail. The accused, who are charged with fraud, arson and assisting an inmate to escape, will appear for arguments before judgment on Tuesday.

Moeti says the defence will seek to prove that the accused won’t tamper with evidence if released on bail.

“It’s going to be a lengthy day because it’s going to be an argument tendered by all the attorneys or the defence. They need to prove and convince the court of their arguments that it is in the best interest of justice foR their accused to be released. Remember that the link has been determined and has been proven by the defense to all the accused that there is the link towards the crime.”


On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Magudumana was lawfully deported from Tanzania, contrary to her claim in her latest court bid.

The Home Affairs Director-General has written to Magudumana’s lawyers to demand that the court case be scrapped.

Motsoaledi briefed the media in Pretoria on the issuing of an identity document to Bester.

“The DG directly addressed a letter to her attorneys raiding objections and demanded that the ill-advised objection be removed from the roll. The letter corrected the wrong stance that she was unlawfully abducted. They were declared prohibited immigrants in terms of the immigration laws of Tanzania and were therefore as a matter of law liable to be deported back to the country of origin. If the matter is not retracted, we will be there in Bloemfontein on the 25th”

VIDEO: Home Affairs to revoke Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s passport:

Additional reporting by Prabashini Moodley.