Thabo Bester claims items worth R30m stolen from him, case ...

8 Aug 2023
Thabo Bester claims items worth R30 million worth of goods were stolen from him after his arrest in Tanzania in April.He and his lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, were in court on Tuesday along with 10 others who are accused of helping Bester escape from prison.The case has been postponed to October for further investigation.

Thabo Bester told the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday that items to the tune of around R30 million went missing when he and his lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, were arrested in Tanzania in April.

Bester and 11 co-accused were in the dock in connection with his escape from the Mangaung prison last year. His cell was set alight and officials believed that the body found inside it after the blaze was extinguished was his.

DNA tests later revealed that the body was that of Katlego Bereng.

The State alleges that Bereng's body was smuggled into the prison and put in Bester's cell, allowing the convicted rapist and murderer to escape.

On Tuesday morning, Magudumana and her co-accused father, Zolile Sekeleni, embraced in the dock but her feelings between her and Bester were most notable.

READ | Thabo Bester's lawyers recuse themselves, more arrests expected in prison escape case

They whispered to each other, held hands and exchanged loving looks.

It was their first meeting since their arrest.

Both have complained about inhumane treatment from the police. 

Thabo Bester and dr Nandipha Magudumana in court o

Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana share loving glances in court on Tuesday 8 August.

Magudumana said she had been handcuffed in the back of the police van on Tuesday morning, with no way of holding herself up as the speeding vehicle took turns and the driver applied brakes during the two-hour journey from Bizzah Makhate Correctional Centre in Kroonstad.

Bester claimed he was handcuffed for 23 hours a day inside his cell.

But the big shock was his claim that high-end goods worth a whopping R30 million that belonged to him had gone missing.

The items included the following:

iPhone 14 ProMax - worth R36 000Samsung S23 - R32 000Samsung Z4 - R40 000iPad 16 - R18 000Macbook Air 16 - R12 500Macbook Pro 16 - R34 600Burberry card holder - R15 500Burberry sunglasses - R11 500Tom Ford sunglasses - R9 500HP laptop - R41 000Louis Vuitton laptop bag - R51 000"Marriage" ring - R350 0002X Audemars Piguet watches - R2 500 000 each2X FM watches - R2 500 000 each2X Rolex watches - R2 600 000 eachC watch - R1 750 000Patek Philippe watch - R1 900 000A Polo bag with clothes missing worth - R750 000

He also claimed the following cash amounts disappeared:

R295 000$36 000 (about R680 000)Tanzanian Shilling 7 200 000 (about R55 000)Zambian Kwacha 1 400 000 (about 1.3 million)£500 000 (about R12 million)Swiss Francs 150 000 (about R3.2 million)

Bester opened a case at the Lanseria police station. 

The escaping case has been postponed to 11 October for further investigation. 

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