Unbelievable news in South Africa: Escaped prisoner returns to prison after believing his own death | Various facts

A murderer who faked his death and left a charred body in his cell returned to jail on Thursday. But there are still many gray areas in the embarrassing affair that has kept South Africa in suspense for weeks.

The incredible and harrowing news painfully evokes the concentration of South African ills – insane crime, poor prosecution and incompetent police – and calls into question the impressive series of failures and compromises that allowed it to get away.

Thabo Bester, nicknamed the “Facebook Rapist,” was sentenced to life in prison for murder and rape in 2012 for posing as a model recruiter to many of his victims through the social network.

In May 2022, a man’s charred body was found in his cell at a private prison in Bloemfontein (centre) run by a British company, initially suggesting to prison authorities that Thabo Pester had set himself on fire.

DNA tests

But the thirty-year-old prisoner had backed up. At the end of March, a year after the escape, DNA tests revealed that the body found in his cell was not his.

On Saturday, the South African government announced that the fugitive had been arrested the previous night near the Kenyan border east of Arusha, Tanzania, as he tried to leave the country with a South African woman he claimed he would have sex with. relationship and a Mozambican partner.

Police Minister Peggy Cele said during a press conference in Cape Town on Thursday that they were in possession of multiple passports when they were arrested, with some details being leaked.

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Between Wednesday and Thursday night, the deported couple arrived at an airport near Johannesburg.

Increased surveillance

Thabo Pester is being held in a maximum security prison, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said at the same press conference, adding that his companion would appear before a judge later in the day. She should be specifically charged with aiding and abetting.

The former fugitive sought to assure the prison official that he would be closely monitored “24 hours a day, seven days a week” by “highly qualified” guards to avoid any breach of security.

On Wednesday, presidential spokesman Cyril Ramaphosa said the head of state was “troubled” by the silly escapade and the dysfunction that allowed it.

Four suspects have been arrested in the past few days in connection with this case. Among them, the father of Pester’s partner, whose identity is unknown at this stage, was charged with murder earlier this week.

Delayed investigation

Doubts about Pester’s death were first raised in November by local media outlet GroundUp, which accused authorities of delaying the unusual case.

Meanwhile, photos have surfaced of what some say is the perpetrator shopping at a shopping mall in the Johannesburg area. And many women have publicly said that a serial rapist contacted them through social media.

Police waited until last month to open a new homicide investigation after an autopsy revealed the man found dead in Bester’s room had suffered head injuries before being set on fire.

“The scene of this story is like a movie and chilling,” responded Bafana Khumalo, co-director of a feminist association, while many NGOs continue to criticize the government for its inability to curb violence against women.

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The escape of the man, convicted of murder and rape, “testifies to the incompetence of the prison administration and the endemic corruption of the sector”, the opposition far-left party EFF condemned for its role.

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