Abused 'Facebook rapist' forced into crime

2011-10-14 15:30

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.

He burst into tears in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday 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.

Forced to commit crime

He said 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."

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.

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.

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.

He was dubbed the "Facebook rapist" because he used social media to lure women. He told them international modelling scouts were interested in them and then met them in person. Bester would then rape and rob them at knifepoint.

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

  • Shaun - 2011-10-14 15:41

    Ok then. So hes saying that he was a product of his previous circumstances and because he was raped, that gives him the right to rape others? I love this animals logic, pfft

      Sharmay - 2011-10-14 15:50

      Wouldn't he be suffering from misandry then and not mysogyny because of the abuse?

  • Sharmay - 2011-10-14 15:41

    Still not an excuse. You deserve your sentence.

  • leeann.radicoski - 2011-10-14 15:50

    And now he wants people to feel sorry for him, he deserves to rot in jail hope he gets raped again

  • Joe-Moer - 2011-10-14 15:50

    Comes to I my friend.

  • Mart - 2011-10-14 15:54

    Not worth keeping alive I'm afraid. He chose to do the crimes, he was forced to do none of them. Message to okes must make sure that NONE of my tax money is spent on this mutant...nothing, you hear me !!!

  • richard.hipkin - 2011-10-14 15:54

    SO the pain you suffered didn't make you think that doing it to others was equally as bad? Ok then..

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-10-14 15:55

    To hell with him, go rot in jail. You have created too many unhappy soul.

  • Deon - 2011-10-14 15:58

    Now you are again being forced, but out of society and out of crime. You are the weakest link, good bye.

  • Silvana - 2011-10-14 16:04

    I can understand commiting crime to support oneself, but how the hell does raping a person achieve this ffs. He's a sick f*#k and deserves to go to jail. Save your manipulative tears for jail Thabo. You'll need every drop.

  • Saberina - 2011-10-14 16:14

    so he had a horrible chid hood and was hurt in awfull ways so he then does the same to others how can he blame his child hood tramas for what he has done if he knew what hurt and pain he was caused by it why did he do it to others he got what he deserves and in my opinion he should have got longer than he did

  • Refilwe - 2011-10-14 16:15

    There is always an excuse aint there?

  • omthembu2 - 2011-10-14 16:16

    in life u reap what u sow...

  • Frederik - 2011-10-14 16:19

    I would like somebody to help me here: how is it possible that 2 guys that kill 4 youngsters through racing their cars on a public road, have tied up people and courts for over a year without getting anywhere, this guy above, was caught 2 days ago and is sentenced!

      Yusuf - 2011-10-14 16:25

      he did not have fancy lawyers

      wayne.schaefer2 - 2011-10-14 16:30

      Money money money!!!!!!! Friends with people in high places,

  • joelstew - 2011-10-14 16:22

    if he knows how terrifying it is to be raped. How can he rape others and put them through what he went through. and then rob them aswel. Go to Jail brew.

  • Sharon - 2011-10-14 16:26

    Please don't compare him to an animal Shaun... Do you know any animals who rape or murder? All evil in this world relates purely to the human race - animals are the only pure form of life left.

      nspaynter - 2011-10-14 16:46

      Have you ever watched a pack of dogs after a single bitch on heat? Dogs also "murder" other dogs.......

  • Eugene - 2011-10-14 16:28

    Oh please: I was raped! It's someone else's fault! It wasn't me, it was the guy who sodomised me! Take a walk and then 50 years, ya sicko

  • Gavin - 2011-10-14 16:35

    Death would be a more fitting sentence for this germ.

  • Mtshali - 2011-10-14 16:37

    he should rot in jail that not an excuse for what he did now he's blaming his past because of it, Bester u r a sick bustard death penalty shud be brought back for bustards like you *pissed8

  • Bronwyn - 2011-10-14 16:48

    OK, so you never thought of seeking HELP BEFORE you screwed up families and other lives???? You never recognised that these urges are not normal? Two wrongs do not make a right!! Go rot i jail...

  • nspaynter - 2011-10-14 17:09

    Do you regularly break speed limits, refuse to wear your seat belt and speak on your cell phone while driving? If you do you are also breaking the law!

      Kalahari - 2011-10-15 17:13

      you sound gay

  • bluzulu - 2011-10-14 19:03

    Because I have been traumatized, tis my right to traumatize others....yeah right mate. Now you gonna be raped daily ...............HAVE A BALL OR TWO

  • Hermann - 2011-10-14 20:43

    With his action history he has no past excuses, he could have bettered himself. That pathetic photo you placed is disgusting. Kick the sub-eds backside for that sympathy seeking conduct of his.

  • Mandi - 2011-10-14 23:38

    What a pig he deserves everything he gets in prison, i hope some big guy called baba makes him his sexual slave and brings unto him what he brought unto others ten fold.

  • Snofferol - 2011-10-19 17:48

    The thing that makes my blood boil here is not that he's simply offering all of this bull by way of explanation for the irrevocable violation he visited upon these women- it's that he's proffering his sob story solely in hopes of shaving time off of his sentence. There is NO remorse there whatsoever. In effect, he's asking for his story to be listened to in empathy, whilst simultaneously having to ask that same empathy be denied his victims, or else it wouldn't make sense. They should ask him how he would want his rapists sentenced, and tell him by his logic, theirs should be his own. And yes, how much longer ought South Africa suffer under the weight of the ever-increasing populace of murdering and raping scum? They are not only killing and raping our women and children and men, but also serve to paint South Africa as something of a savage country in the global community. We *really* need the death penalty back in SA- for murderers, AND the above-the-line rapists.

  • tuzka - 2012-08-14 07:27

    O please, firstly I think he is just trying to soften the court so that they will reduce his sentence, secondly why if someone raped you would you want to rape someone else? I mean you know how it feels, how it hurts, why would you want to put someone else through it? Unless he enjoys every single moment to which I say he deserved what he got in prison!

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