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Police Confirms Arrest Of Fugitives Thabo Bester, Dr. Nandipha

Pretoria – South African authorities on Saturday confirmed that fugitives Thabo Bester and his partner Dr. Nandipha Magudumana have been arrested in Tanzania. Police Minister Bheki Cele said the fugitives - Facebook rapist Thabo Bezter and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana were arrested together with an unnamed Mozambique national. He said Interpol had assisted in the matter.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said South African authorities were alerted by their Tanzanian counterparts that Bester and Dr. Magudumana were arrested Friday night, along with an unidentified Mozambican national.

He said the fugitives were followed by Tanzanian law enforcers from their hotel in Dar es Salaam as they headed for Arusha. The fugitives, who were travelling in a black SUV, were arrested about 10km before they could reach the Tanzania border with Kenya.

They were found with several passports – none of which had been stamped by any border authority

General Cele added: “We don’t know if he was assisted by the terrorist but it does look like he (Bester) has a lot of influence … maybe it’s money or inffluence, whatever.”

Bester dubbed the “Facebook Rapist” escaped from Mangaung private prison in the Free State last year by faking his death.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said Bester also faces a charge of murder regarding the burnt body found in his cell after he escaped. The body has not yet been identified.

Minister Lamola said bringing Bester back was a “straight deportation” because he is a convicted person.

He also revealed that a warrant of arrest for assisting Bester to escape had already been issued for Dr. Magudumana.

The minister added that top SA officials will leave for Tanzania on Sunday to “explore all avenues” of how to bring back the arrested trio.

Thabo Bester lured scores of young on the social media platform (Facebook) by promising them lucrative modelling jobs and then robbed and raped them.

Bester, who had many other aliases such as Thomas Bester, Tom Kelly and most recently TK Nkwana, lured scores of young women on Facebook by promising them lucrative modelling jobs before robbing and raping them.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 by the Western Cape High Court for the murder of Johannesburg model and car saleswoman, Nomfundo Tyhulu.

The EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) has welcomed his arrest, however they condemned ‘police ineffectiveness’, saying “the apprehension of Bester in Tanzania confirms the level of deceit and incompetence of Correctional Services in South Africa”.

“The EFF calls for the immediate return of Thabo Bester to South Africa, and for him to be held under strict supervision to avoid any underhanded attempts at stopping him from revealing those who aided his escape from prison,” the party said in a statement as seen in the embedded Tweet below..

*This article was originally published in Additional reporting by NOWinSA.

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Curated by editor-in-chief, Tankiso Komane, this special collection of articles from the Editor's Desk unpacks topics of the day, including commentary, in-depth analysis and partner content.
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