Thabo Bester used 'armed thugs in blue-light convoy' to get furnishings from mansion he fled

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Thabo Bester
Thabo Bester
PHOTO: Shelley Christians, Gallo Images, The Times
  • "Facebook rapist" Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana have fled the Hyde Park home they were believed to be staying in.
  • A property agency employee said that after they fled a group of armed men showed up to ensure the safe removal of their household items. 
  • Magudumana had reportedly fought with her landlord, who claimed she was trying to remove items which did not belong to her from home.

Silver chains stand out from the black imposing wrought-iron gates to the entrance of the 2nd Road chateau in Hyde Park where fugitive and convicted rapist-murderer Thabo Bester is believed to have stayed with celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana.

The two have not been seen since news broke that the burnt body found at Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) was not the "Facebook rapist", as Bester has been named, but an unknown murdered man.

Bester escaped in May and has been renting palatial properties in Johannesburg as Katlego Tom “TK” Motsepe Nkwana.

It is believed he and Magudumana fled last week, with GroundUp reporting that a quarrel broke out on Tuesday, 21 March, at the property between Magudumana and the landlord.

READ | EXCLUSIVE: Watch Thabo Bester 'confess' to rape and murder – and speak of his hope to be free

The landlord claimed Magudumana was trying to remove items that did not belong to her from the home.

The property gates are now wrapped with chains.

A representative of the property agency did not allow News24 to take images of the house because they were still looking for tenants and were concerned about negative publicity.

He said when the agency found out who TK was, the pair had already fled the property.

The house that Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Be
The house that Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester are believed to have been renting in the plush suburb of Hyde Park, north of Johannesburg. Photo: Mpho Raborife/News24

When the man, who asked to remain anonymous, went to the house last Monday, he found all the furniture still in place.

“The place was fully furnished but you could see they left in a hurry because of the way the cupboards were left – all the clothes all over the place. So, it looked like they packed and left.”

He said later that evening he received a call from a staff member to say someone was jiggling the chains the agency put around the gate.

“On Tuesday at around 09:00 [the staff member] calls in a panic to say there are armed people at the gate busy breaking in.

He added:

These thugs – I call them ‘thugs’ because they were armed to the hilt, bulletproof vests, and they came in driving Mercedes’ with blue-lights on. They were just there to ‘escort’ the removal vans which came to take away all their stuff.

“But once the furniture was removed, they started stripping the interiors, taking the stove and other furnishings.”

The Sunday Times reported that both the property manager at the real estate agency managing the house and the owner recognised Bester when news of his dramatic escape began doing the rounds.

They told the publication that "this guy" had been hiding at the property and that at the time of securing the property, there had been requests that the home have high walls, offer exclusive seclusion and be "very, very private".

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for G4S Correction Services South Africa said the company awaited conclusions from the police on its investigation into what happened on 3 May 2022 when the fire broke out at the MCC.

The prison is privately managed by the security company in Bloemfontein.

READ | More evidence links 'Facebook rapist' Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana

In a statement on Monday, the company said that on 5 May last year it had alerted the police to “a number of concerns surrounding the circumstances of the fire”.

“SAPS were supplied with relevant information and evidence.

“Three employees at MCC were suspended shortly after the incident. These employees were subsequently dismissed in September 2022, December 2022 and January 2023 respectively for matters relating to their conduct on the evening of 3 May 2022.”

It said the company had fully cooperated with the authorities and “will continue to do so”.

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