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Thabo Bester hasn’t eaten in over 24hrs, fearing for his safety: Lawyer

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Convicted killer and rapist Thabo Bester’s lawyers on Friday told the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court that he had not eaten for over 24 hours out of fear for his safety.

For the first time since his brazen escape from the Mangaung Maximum Security Prison in May 2022, Bester made a much-anticipated court appearance on Friday.

His accomplice and girlfriend – who is a celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana – appeared in the same court on Thursday after the pair was deported from Tanzania while on the run.

Bester was remanded in custody and would return to court in May.

In what was expected to be a brief first appearance for Bester, the convicted murderer brought to the fore unexpected concerns and requests.

Firstly, he tried to address the court himself and not through his attorney.
Once that request was dismissed, his lawyer Marvin Carpede flagged how he hadn’t had a meal since the chartered jet that deported him and his accomplice Magudumana touched down on South African soil.

He told the court that he was afraid to eat the food provided by Correctional Services.

But State advocate Sello Matlhoko dismissed this concern.

“The constitutional institution has the responsibility of caring for such a person, with Correctional Services. He’s now their responsibility. The burden is now on the Correctional Services.”

Magistrate Motlholo Khabisi did not allow the further pursuit of this point by Bester’s legal team.

He moved to postpone the matter to allow for further police investigation.

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