I feel his eyes on me before I see him. “Thabo Bester,” a guard calls, indicating the prisoner I’m here to see has been brought from his cell into the visitors room.
I look up and meet the gaze of the man dubbed the Facebook rapist.
A smile spreads across his face as he stares at me through the bulletproof glass and already I’m unnerved.
He settles down in a booth at the far end of the room and immediately turns on the charm.
“Thank you so much for coming,” he says. “I don’t get any visitors. I’m very glad you came.”
It’s shortly before 11 am on a Saturday morning, visiting day for friends and relatives of inmates at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre near Paarl in the Western Cape.
Hundreds of visitors, prisoners and guards navigate the winding corridors and waiting rooms of the maximum security unit and a cacophony of voices fills the air.
But Thomas “Thabo” Bester (23) seems unaffected by the noise. He’s observing me curiously, his eyes darting across my body.
Read more of Latashia Naidoo’s interview with Bester in YOU 14 June 2012.
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