Fugitives Thabo Bester and his girlfriend arrested in Tanzania

The Minister of Police and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, can confirm that escapee Thabo Bester with his an accomplice Dr Nandipha Maguduma, along with Mozambican national were arrested in Tanzania late last night.

On 26 March 2023, The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, ordered the prioritisation of investigations into the Mangaung prison escape case. Detectives from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) and the Organised Crime Investigations (OCI) units in the Free State and Gauteng provinces were appointed to work round the clock on this investigation with track and tracing teams of Correctional Services and Crime Intelligence.

A case of murder is under investigation following the outcome of the DNA analysis that confirmed that the body of the deceased which was found, was not of Thabo Bester. The autopsy report went on to further reveal that the deceased had died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and was already dead prior to the arson incident.

A case of escape from lawful custody was also registered on confirmation by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) that Thabo Bester was not in their custody. We have confirmed with all the relevant authorities in Tanzania, which includes the National Commissioner of Police in Tanzania and Interpol, that the fugitives are being processed.

An official delegation from South Africa comprising of senior officials from the police, justice and Correctional services will depart for Tanzania tomorrow, they will be received and assisted by the office the High Commissioner in Tanzania.

We are confident that we will receive maximum cooperation from our sister nation of Tanzania, to assist us to bring these fugitives to justice. The level cooperation has been exemplary thus far.

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