State wants life for 'Facebook rapist'

2012-08-14 19:57
Thabo Bester (File, Beeld)

Thabo Bester (File, Beeld)

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Cape Town - "Facebook rapist" Thabo Bester will be sentenced by the Western Cape High Court on Thursday for the murder of model Nomfundo Tyhulu.

The State wants Bester, 23, to get a life sentence for stabbing, killing and robbing Tyhulu, 23, at a Cape Town bed-and-breakfast in September 2011.

Prosecutor Samantha Raphels told the court on Tuesday that Bester's acts were premeditated and that the robbery and murder charges should be treated as serious, separate crimes.

He should face life in prison as he was clearly not sorry for what he had done and had not been "open and honest" with the court, she said.

When Judge Judith Cloete asked her to justify this statement, Raphels said Bester could not explain why he had stabbed a woman and taken her possessions.

"We still don't know why this has happened, why he would kill a friend whose family he knows."

Bester took the stand on Tuesday morning and poured out his heart over Tyhulu. He said she was the only one who had stood by him when people accused him of crimes in Durban.

"She was a good friend... I knew her family. She was a good person. She believed in me."

Bester revealed on Monday that he met Tyhulu at a BMW dealership in Sandton, Johannesburg, in January 2011, when she sold him a new car.

They started a long-distance relationship two months later and flew to Cape Town together in September on holiday.

On Tuesday, he said they flew to Cape Town to meet someone who was going to invest in Bester's business. He told the court he had run an events-hosting business, earning about R15 000 a month.

Asked repeatedly by the State why he had killed someone close to him, he could not reply.

He said his first thought was that stabbing Tyhulu might bring him some money from her possessions.

Eventually, he said: "I made a mistake and took her life".

Bester has three daughters, aged seven, two, and 18-months, all from different women.

His lawyer Peter Burgers said the fact that his client was young, had dependants and had pleaded guilty, should count in his favour.

"He's accepted responsibility for his actions despite a difficulty to explain the motivation. He has a remarkable level of maturity in acknowledging that he killed someone."

Burgers rejected the idea of a life sentence, referring to it as "a Methuselah sentence", implying Bester would be released on parole only when he was an old man.

He suggested a sentence of about 25 years, to run concurrently with his 50-year sentence, imposed previously for raping and robbing two models.

He was jailed for 15 years on each count of rape and 15 years on each count of robbery. Five years of each robbery sentence was suspended.

Bester is called the "Facebook rapist" as he used the social networking site to lure women to meet him, claiming that international modelling scouts were interested in them.

Armed with a knife, he then raped and robbed them.

Read more on:    thabo bester  |  cape town

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