D-Day For Serial Criminal Thabo Bester’s Girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana
11 September 2023
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The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court is expected to rule on Monday if Dr Nandipha Magudumana will be granted bail or if she will spend more time behind bars.

Magudumana applied for bail for the first time two weeks ago since her arrest in April.

Magudumana was arrested with her lover, convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester, who faked his death at the Mangaung Correctional Centre and escaped in May last year. Magudumana was allegedly a central figure in planning and co-ordinating Bester’s escape, the State describing her as a mastermind.

However, Magudumana has claimed in court that she had not escaped the country with Bester, but, she claimed Bester, her lover, had kidnapped her and forced her into a car before they were arrested in Arusha, Tanzania, more than 3,000 kilometres away from Johannesburg.

The State said Magudumana had rented rooms at upmarket boutique hotels in Bloemfontein around the time Bester escape.

Bester, with the help of at least 12 people, including Magudumana and former G4S employees, escaped from the privately-run Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year. He had been serving a life sentence for rape and murder.

She is facing multiple charges of fraud, violating a body, corruption, arson, assisting an inmate to escape, harbouring and concealing an escaped prisoner, and defeating the ends of justice.

State Prosecutor advocate Sello Matlhoko has opposed Magudumana’s release on bail, telling the court she was a flight risk who was facing serious charges.

Matlhoko also told the court that Magudumana was a married woman who had deserted her daughters to elope with Bester.

The State also said she was facing fraud charges to the tune of over R20 million in other cases.

The bail application was a Schedule 5 offence charge, which meant it was the burden of the defence to show cause why she should be granted bail.

“They have been saying the State has failed to prove this and that. What does our law say?

“Schedule 5 says where an accused is charged, the court shall order they be detained unless the accused, having been given a reasonable opportunity to do so, adduce evidence which satisfies his or her release. The duty is on the applicant to adduce evidence,” said Matlhoko.

Matlhoko said Magudumana had not given the court any details about her supposed kidnapping.

IOL reported last week that Magudumana was willing to pay R10,000 bail if it were to be granted. She told the court she would reside with her friend in Douglasdale, Dr Michelle Chibaya, a naturalised South African with Zimbabwean roots.

Bail judgment is expected on Monday.

Other accused in the Bester matter are former G4S prison warder Senohe Matsoara, Zanda Moyo, Zolile Cornelius Sekeleni, former Integritron Integrated Solutions camera technician Teboho Lipholo, suspended G4S employee Tieho Frans Makhotsa, former G4S guard Buti Masukela, suspended G4S employee Natassja Jansen and G4S employees, Joel Makhetha, Moeketsi Ramolula and Thabang Mier, who were all granted bail.