Sonke Gender Justice expresses outrage at Bester’s escape saga

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Civil society organisation Sonke Gender Justice is outraged at how convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester’s escape was handled.

The organisation’s co-founder Bafana Khumalo has accused the police of risking the safety of victims in order to protect their investigation.

Bester and his alleged accomplices, which include his girlfriend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, her father, Zolile Sekeleni, former G4S employee Senohe Matsoara, and CCTV engineer Teboho Lipholo, are all facing multiple charges in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

The charges relate to Bester’s escape and subsequent re-arrest in Tanzania.

Khumalo says more cases involving Bester since his escape could now emerge.

“This was quite shocking, to listen to the Police Minister [Bheki Cele] making their version, that they kept this matter out of the public eye- because they did not want to jeopardise their investigations. Tacitly, he was admitting that they preferred to protect their investigation at the expense of the victims of Thabo Bester, and other women who potentially could have been victims.”

“This man has been out of prison for almost a year. It’s very likely that we may get other cases that involve him- and this is a major dereliction of duty by the state in this regard,” adds Khumalo.

The video below is reporting more on the court proceedings:

‘… a drop in the ocean’

Meanwhile, ActionSA in the Free State says the arrest of four people implicated in the escape of Bester is a drop in the ocean.

ActionSA provincial leader, Patricia Kopane says law enforcers must dig more and make further arrests. ActionSA attended the case against Dr Nandipha Magudumana, her father Zolile Sekeleni, Teboho Lipholo and dismissed G4S employee Senohe Matsoara in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Monday.

The matter has been postponed to the third and fourth of next month for a bail application. Sekeleni has been released on R10 000 bail. Kopane says justice must prevail.

‘This matter really exposes how our justice system is so dysfunctional, how our home affairs is so dysfunctional because as the ActionSA we believe that the borders are porous it exposes danger to us as a country. For example, Dr Nandipha and Bester managed to leave the country without even having proper documentation.”