Thabo Bester wants Mshololo, Mpofu to join legal team as case ...

11 Oct 2023
Thabo Bester

The escape case against Thabo Bester and 10 others has been transferred to the Free State High Court, with the rapist and murderer wanting to rope in high-profile advocates.

The accused appeared in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court on Wednesday for what was seemingly going to be a simple postponement.

However, it became a lengthy and somewhat dramatic matter before magistrate Estelle de Lange after reports emerged that Bester's partner, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, had collapsed in the holding cells while waiting to appear in court.

Her lawyer, Machini Motloung, told journalists his client was declared unwell on Tuesday. Despite this, she was brought to Bloemfontein against her wishes from the Kroonstad correctional facility.

“She's not well, she's in the cells. I don't need to be a medical expert to say it, she's on the floor.” This was harsh treatment, he said, adding, “Even accused persons have rights”.

In court, the state said it was withdrawing the case against three of the accused: former G4S employees Nastassja Jansen, Thabang Matthews Mier and Moeketsi April Ramolula.

However, before prosecutor Amanda Bester could proceed, the issue of Bester's legal representatives came up. 

At his last appearance in August, he was represented by Peter Matee, but a new lawyer, Jan Loubser, attended Wednesday's proceedings, seemingly without Matee's knowledge.

Loubser said he was now the attorney on record for Bester, with advocate Zandile Mshololo.

Matee sought clarity, saying he had not been excused as the attorney on record despite consulting with Bester “at length” before proceedings.

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