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Gauteng education on Bester not having a birth certificate: We can’t reject a child because of documents

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Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona has confirmed “Facebook rapist” and murderer Thabo Bester attended school without any documentation, saying the department cannot deny a child education because of documentation.

Bester attended Laerskool Danie Theron in Kibler Park, in the south of Johannesburg. He was admitted on January 14 1997.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Bester was admitted on the “strength of his date of birth” because he didn’t have a birth certificate.

Speaking on eNCA, Mabona said Bester was brought to the school by a guardian and not a parent.

“As a department, we cannot deny the education of a child because of documentation. We have a constitutional obligation to provide education to all our children.

“Bester continued with schooling until grade 7. He left during term 3 and did not come back. That’s the last time he was seen in a schooling environment,” said Mabona.

He said there are no confirmed records that the convicted rapist attended another school after dropping out.

“Employees who are still working here in this school who remember him said he was charming, a very clever boy, and a sportsman doing well [in] rugby,” he said.

He said there are no confirmed records that the convicted rapist attended another school after dropping out.

“Employees who are still working here in this school who remember him said he was charming, a very clever boy, and a sportsman doing well [in] rugby,” he said.

Motsoaledi confirmed the identity of Bester but said there was no record of him at the department and he “simply doesn’t exist” on the department’s database.

According to reports, Bester had up to 13 aliases, including Thomas Bester, Tom Bester, Tom Motsepe, Thabo Tom Bester, Tom Kelly, Thomas Kelly Bester, Thomas Berter, TK Nkwana, Robert Thomas Kelly Young, Tommy William Kelly, Thomas Magagula, Thabo Magagula and Rufus Mahopo.

“On hearing that Thabo Bester sometimes calls himself Thapelo Nkoana or TK Nkoana, we then switched our search to Thapelo Nkoana and the system revealed 16 names, none of which fitted the picture of the men who escaped from prison,” said Motsoaledi.

He said in the National Population Register, Bester’s mother only registered his siblings and not him.

“It was found that she herself was born in 1965 but until 2002 her birth was never registered and hence she never took an ID. She told us that her non-registration stemmed from the fact that her mother was working on the farms and her employer refused to let her go to register.

“She never registered Thabo Bester because at that time, he had disappeared. He was only 16 years old when he disappeared. Thabo never registered with home affairs at any stage of his life. Hence the only places his name is found are in correctional services and the SA Police Service. In terms of civil registration, only Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has his details which were captured 37 years ago,” said the minister.

Source: TimesLIVE


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