A convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester, who escaped from South African prison, under bizarre circumstances, has been rearrested in Tanzania.
Bester and two of his suspected accomplices were apprehended in Arusha late on Friday.
“They were heading for the border of another country,” South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Saturday.
They had arrived in Arusha from Dar es Salaam, Cele said. The men were in possession of several passports with fake aliases.
#PoliceMinistry [MEDIA STATEMENT] Minister of Police and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, confirm that escapee #ThaboBester with his accomplice Dr Nandipha Maguduma along with Mozambican national have been arrested in Tanzania. NPhttps://t.co/lj0mxvXfiq pic.twitter.com/UAWt6qtze2— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) April 8, 2023
Authorities believed Bester faked his death to escape from the maximum security prison in Bloemfontein, operated by multinational company G4S, in May last year.
They initially believed he had set himself alight in a prison cell and died. But after months of reporting by the South African nonprofit news agency GroundUp suggesting that he was alive, prison admitted late last month the body found burned in the cell was not Bester’s
South African officials to negotiate Bester’s extradition
A contingent from South Africa’s justice department and police would travel to Tanzania on Sunday to try and secure Bester’s return.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said they expect “the good working relations we have with Tanzania,” would ensure Bester, and at least one of his accomplices, are returned to South Africa.
“If it needs be that we send some airplane to fetch them,” police minister Cele said.
Dubbed the “Facebook rapist” Bester allegedly lured victims on the social media platform before raping and robbing them. At least one victim was killed.
In 2012 he was sentenced to life in prison for rape, robbery and murder.
According to South African media, Bester has been spotted shopping in Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton area and has been romantically linked to a prominent celebrity doctor.
She and a Mozambican national were arrested with Bester in Tanzania.
Before his escape, Bester also reportedly ran a scam media business from prison using a false name.
Source : DW