'Facebook rapist' to stand trial

2012-05-03 20:41
Cape Town - "Facebook rapist" Thabo Bester has turned down a plea and sentencing agreement and will stand trial in the Western Cape High Court.

The State and the defence had been unable to agree on a sentence, prosecutor Samantha Raphaels told Judge Andre le Grange on Thursday.

She asked that July 30 be set down for a provisional trial date.

Le Grange granted the request and ordered that Bester be kept in custody until then.

He was to have pleaded and signed the agreement on Wednesday.

However, the case was delayed until Thursday because there was a discrepancy between his previous sentence on police records and a that on a correctional services form. According to police records, he was serving a 30-year jail term.

The confusion was cleared up and all the forms were in place to proceed with the case on Thursday.

Bester stands accused of murdering 26-year-old model Nomfundu Tyulu in Milnerton, Cape Town, in September. She was found stabbed in the chest in a room at a bed and breakfast.

He was sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment by a Durban court in October for raping and robbing two models.

He was sentenced to 15 years in jail on each count of rape, and 15 years in jail on each count of robbery . Five years of each robbery sentence was suspended.

Bester hid his face with a blue anorak before the judge entered the court on Thursday, as a mob of photographers surrounded the dock.

He was taken away by at least six correctional services guards, who kept the media at bay.

Bester was dubbed the "Facebook rapist" because he used the social networking forum to lure women to meet him.

He sent them messages that international modelling scouts were interested in them and then met them in person. Armed with a knife, he then raped and robbed them.

- SAPA
Read more on:    thabo bester  |  cape town
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