Thabo Bester trial: Sick, naked Dr Nandipha not in court, case ...

11 Oct 2023

Dr Nandipha Magudumana could not appear in court on Wednesday as she was reportedly ill.

Dr Nandipha Magudumana could not appear in court on Wednesday as she was reportedly ill.

Dr Nandipha Magudumana could not appear in court as she was reportedly ill.Magudumana's attorney, Machini Motloung, told the court the State had transported his client inhumanely.Prosecutor Amanda Bester told the court Magudumana had refused to see a medical officer on Tuesday and said she had undressed herself on Wednesday morning while being transported to court.

It was a dramatic day in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Wednesday when the accused in the Thabo Bester escape trial made an appearance.

Bester and his co-accused made a brief appearance following delays after his lover, Nandipha Magudumana, fell ill and failed to appear.

She remained in the holding cells while the case was being heard.

The court heard Magudumana had undressed herself while being transported from prison in Kroonstad, where she is detained, to court. 

Senior prosecutor Amanda Bester [no relation to Thabo Bester] told the court the State was made aware of Magudumana's ill health on Tuesday, but she refused to be examined by a medical officer.

Proceedings were delayed by almost an hour, as it was reported Magudumana had collapsed in the holding cells.

AS IT HAPPENED | Bester escape case transferred to Free State High Court for February 2024 pre-trial

Her lawyer, Machini Motloung, said she was transported to court inhumanely. 

Motloung added his client was unwell and they had arranged with the State for her to appear virtually, but that request was declined.

Amanda denied Magudumana was mistreated and told the court the former fugitive was appropriately dressed when she left Kroonstad.

She said the prison warders transporting her were shocked to find her naked in the back of the van when they arrived at court.

Amanda said:

She undressed herself on the way.

When Bester and 10 of the other accused, including Magudumana's father, Zolile Sekeleni, appeared, she was not with them, and the prosecutor told the court the case would be heard separately.

As proceedings started, Bester's attorney, Kabelo Matee, asked the court to seek clarity from him which attorney was on record for him.

This after another attorney, Jan Loubser, introduced himself to the court as Bester's legal representative.

Loubser told the court he would be using the services of advocate Zandile Mshololo.

GALLERY | All cuffed up: Partners in crime Bester and Magudumana steal moments in court appearance

In his response, Bester said all the attorneys would work together and he would also seek the services of advocate Dali Mpofu.

Amanda told the court the State was dropping charges against three accused - Natasja Jansen, Thabang Mier and Moeketsi Ramulula.

Moreover, the State was ready to hand over the indictment to the defence, including disclosing the contents of the docket with them.

She said the State was ready to set a pre-trial hearing date.

The case has been transferred to the High Court for a pre-trial, with 21 February 2024 being the agreed upon date.

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