South Africa: Fugitive returned to South Africa’s prison after faking death with a burned corpse
After fleeing to Tanzania, a fugitive rapist and murderer has returned to South Africa’s prison after leaving a burned body in his cell during a jailbreak.
The incident has embittered authorities and reignited outrage regarding the competence of South Africa’s police and judicial system.
Before robbing and raping victims, Thabo Bester, who was given a life sentence in 2012 for rape, robbery, and murder, used Facebook to lure them. He killed no less than one casualty.
He escaped almost a year ago from a privately run prison in Bloemfontein, but police claimed they only discovered it last month.
When Bester’s charred body was discovered in his cell in May 2022, prison authorities initially assumed he had set himself ablaze.
The body later turned out to belong to someone else, according to DNA evidence, so police opened a murder investigation late last month.
Last Friday, Tanzanian authorities arrested Bester, a woman with whom he is said to be romantically involved, and a Mozambican accomplice.
They were said to be heading toward the Kenyan border when they were apprehended in the town of Arusha.
A specially chartered plane took Bester and the woman, a famous doctor and social media influencer, back to Lanseria airport, north of Johannesburg, in the early hours of Thursday morning.