'Facebook rapist' impelled by lust

2011-10-14 22:37

kalahari.com

Durban - "Facebook rapist" Thabo Bester was sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment on Friday for raping and robbing two women.

Durban Magistrate Sharon Marks gave him 15 years' imprisonment for each of the two counts of rape.

He was sentenced to another 15 years, with five years suspended, for each of the two counts of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances.

On Wednesday, Bester pleaded guilty to all four charges.

Bester, 22, has been dubbed the "Facebook rapist" because he used social media to lure women throughout the country.

He told them international modelling scouts were interested in them and met them in person. Bester would then rape and rob them at knifepoint.

The sentence related to two incidents involving two women who were raped and robbed at two different lodges in Durban in August.

Burst into tears


Bester was expected to be taken to Gauteng at the weekend to face other charges there, including murder.

On Friday, Bester burst into tears in the Durban Magistrate's Court when he explained the circumstances which he said led him to commit his crimes.

Speaking in mitigation of his sentence, he told the court he had been raped by his grandmother's friend when he was young, raped several times by a man who promised to look after him, and that he was gang-raped in prison.

He said he had never seen his parents and that he lived under excruciating conditions with his alcoholic grandmother and grandfather on a farm in Gauteng.

Bester said he was raped by his grandmother's friend, and that when he told his grandmother about the abuse, it was like talking to a wall.

"My grandmother's friend hurt me when he raped me, and I had an operation on my behind."

He said the situation became worse when his grandmother died, and he had to live with his friends in a squatter camp.

While living there he was approached by a man who promised to look after him, but who had then locked him in his house for days and raped him.

‘Either you die or make a plan’


Bester told the court the difficulties he encountered forced him to commit crime.

"I resorted to crime to support myself. It is either you die or make a plan," he said.

He had been found guilty of fraud in 2009 and sentenced to six months in jail with an option of paying a R1 500 fine.

"I did not have money to pay. They treated me badly in prison because they thought I was from a well-off family."

He had been gang-raped. A bottle with soapy water was inserted into his anus while he was in prison.

The report about his prison abuse was presented in court on Friday. It only mentioned the abuse, but not the rapes.

Seeking to persuade the court to give him a lesser sentence, Bester said he needed a second chance.

"I know I have done terrible things. This is not truly who I am. I want the opportunity to put things right," he said.

If the court felt he did not deserve mercy, he would accept it.

The court heard that Bester was also found guilty for fraud in March this year and his two-year-sentence was suspended for five years.

Marks said she found no compelling circumstances to give Bester a lesser sentence, saying the interest of society outweighed his personal circumstances.

Crimes were planned

She said the evidence showed Bester had planned his crime well and she questioned whether he was remorseful.

"You may regret your conduct but that does not make you remorseful. You have not explained what motivated you to commit these crimes," she said.

Bester’s acts had caused huge harm to his victims, she said. One of the victims had to be hospitalised for five days and she had 13 stitches in her head because of Bester, she said.

"You hurt her, raped her and robbed her. She has now lost her trust and she has continual nightmares."

Bester told the court it was not his intention to rape the women and that he had been impelled by lust. He said his intention was to rob them only.

During cross-examination, State prosecutor Lolly Soobramany asked Bester why he did not hand himself over after he contacted the investigating officer.

Bester said he had wanted to surrender to police, but became scared when he saw the story about his crimes in newspapers, and ran.

He said he knew he was sought across the country for crimes including murder.

Soobramany described Bester as a danger to society, saying what he had done had caused trauma to his victims, which would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Bester, who used aliases including Thomas, was arrested last Wednesday in Alberton, south of Johannesburg.

- SAPA

Read more on:    thabo bester  |  durban
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.