Lawyers for convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester and his accomplice, Nandipha Magudumana, told the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Tuesday that they have been inhumanely treated while in custody.
Bester and Magudumana appeared in court along with seven other accused who face a total of 16 charges relating to Bester’s escape from Mangaung Correctional Centre on 3 May 2022.
The couple sat together in court, chatting with each other before the court hearing began.
Attorney Kabelo Matee, representing Bester, told the court that his client was handcuffed for 23 hours a day while being kept in a cell at Kgosi Mampuru prison. He said Bester instructed him to make an application to the High Court regarding the “inhumane conditions”.
Magistrate Estelle de Lange said the best she could do would be to remind the relevant authorities that an inmate may not be detained in a locked cell with handcuffs on.
Machini Motlaung, representing Magudumana, said the way in which she was transported to court on Tuesday “had all the ingredients of indignity and it was inhumane”.
Motlaung said she was handcuffed when she was transported on Tuesday, whereas she had not been handcuffed previously when taken to court. He said this was unsafe as she was not able to steady herself when the vehicle braked or took corners.
Prosecutor Sello Mathloko said he was not aware of the transport issue but said he would raise the issue with senior management at the South African Police Service.
Matee gave the court a list of items that had allegedly been taken from Bester when he was arrested in Tanzania in April. He claimed these items were collectively worth R40.14-million, belonged to Bester and were still missing.
The list of items provided to the court included:
- iPhone 14 Pro Max, worth R36,000
- Samsung S32, worth R23,000
- Samsung Z4, worth R40,000
- Ipad 16, worth R18,000
- Macbook air 16, worth R12,500
- Macbook pro 16, worth R34,000
- Burberry Card Holder, R15,500
- Bravery sunglasses, R11,500
- Tom Ford sunglasses, R9,500
- HP Laptop, R41,000
- Louis Vuitton laptop bag, R51,000
- Marriage ring, R350,000
- 2 x Apex 2 watches, each worth R2.5-million
- 2 x FM watches, each worth R2.5-million
- 2 x Rolex Oyster watches, each worth R2.6-million
- PP watch, R1.9-million
- Cash, South African Rands, R295,000
- Cash, Tanzanian shillings, 7.2-million (R54,668)
- Cash, Zambian Kwacha, 1.4-million (R1,400-million)
- Cash, Euros, 500,000 (R10.3-million)
- Cash, Swiss Francs, 150,000 (R3.2-million)
The case was postponed to 11 October for further police investigations.
Read the article on the GroundUp website here.