Verdict on Bester escape accused’s bail application to be handed down on Monday

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The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court will deliver its verdict on the bail application of five accused in the Thabo Bester escape saga on Monday next week.

The accused 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.

Bester reportedly received assistance from prison staff during a staged suicide that allowed him to escape in May last year.

The accused are facing charges that include aiding and abetting a convicted criminal to escape from custody, defeating the ends of justice and fraud.

On Tuesday, the legal representative for accused No. 2 Teboho Lipholo told the court that he is indigent. Lipholo is one of the five people accused of aiding convicted killer Bester to escape from prison.

In his closing arguments, Tshotlego Makamedi told the court that Lipholo’s indigence was the reason legal aid is assisting him and argued that they do not have the resources to travel to Sasolburg where Lipholo is detained.

Makamedi said there is no reason why Lipholo should be denied bail.

“The applicant indicated that if released on bail, he will stand trial and attend court appearances as he wishes to prove his innocence in this matter. He is also not in dispute that the investigating officer’s testimony still has a month or two to complete his investigations. The applicant has already spent six weeks. He is on his seven weeks now in custody and the investigations are still not yet complete.”