Three officials suspended following Bester’s escape

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Three officials from the Department of Correctional Services in Bloemfontein have been placed on suspension pending the finalisation of the investigation into how convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester escaped.

The department has temporarily appointed a manager who will be performing the functions of the director.

National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale was speaking during a media briefing.

“It becomes visibly clear that, as Correctional Services, we are dealing with a well-calculated and organised escape debacle. The findings of the investigation report clearly reveals that Thabo Bester was assisted to escape from lawful custody on 3 May 2022, yet the contractor maintains that he died in his cell. This is contrary to overwhelming scientific evidence available. Greatly worrying is the fact that a private vehicle was allowed inside the facility without a gate pass on the day of the escape, possibly, carrying a burnt body that was burnt beyond recognition in cell 35,” adds Thobakgale.

The department says the facility’s security systems were compromised to assist Bester to escape.

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