Popcru calls for top prison officials to be investigated for Thabo Bester’s escape

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The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has called for top prison officials to be investigated and held accountable for the escape of the notorious Facebook rapist, Thabo Bester, from prison in Mangaung.

Bester was dubbed the Facebook rapist – because he used social media to lure his female victims, before raping and robbing them and even killing one of them.

A manhunt is currently underway to apprehend the rapist and murderer who escaped after his prison cell was set ablaze in what was initially thought to be a suicide attempt.

A subsequent autopsy failed to match the DNA of the dead body to that of Bester. This was followed by social media posts of suspected sightings of Bester.

POPCRU’s spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo says, “Somebody would have had to bring the body to pretend as if it was Mr Bester’s body – and that could not have been done by junior officials. We think that investigations need to look high up top there at the management level- the management should definitely be held accountable. The department of correctional services as well needs to take account because according to Correctional Services Act 111 of 2018- they are supposed to have with which they monitor these private prisons.”

Popcru is taken aback by Thabo Bester’s escape:

Meanwhile, civil society organisation, People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) says that they are concerned about the safety of women and the victims of the escaped “Facebook rapist”.

POWA’s legal manager, Naledi Kuali says that the escape is a major concern.

“This is scary, and it is concerning- predominantly because of the space we work in. You think about the crimes the individual has committed, these are violent crimes against women- and he used social media to reach out to the vast majority of his victims.”

Kuali adds: “The second concern outside of the actual escape – is the fact that he’s had access to these things for so long- he had the ability to continue to harass his victims, anyone who came forward. It’s a major concern when someone of this nature is essentially lost, and the conditions under which he has escaped.”

Police have instituted a manhunt after Bester was confirmed to have escaped from a correctional facility in Mangaung, in the Free State.

Thabo Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022: