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Bester escape: Dr Nandipha’s dad appears in court alongside prison warder

The father of celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana and a suspended prison warder have been charged with murder, arson and aiding and abetting notorious rapist and murderer Thabo Bester’s escape from jail.

The two men made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Tuesday but they were not asked to plead.

They will remain in police custody after the case was postponed to 17 April for a possible bail application.

Bester was arrested in Tanzania on Friday having fled from the Mangaung Correctional Centre last May by faking his own death in a fire and planting a corpse in his cell.

The fugitive prisoner was nabbed together with his girlfriend Magudumana after the two lovers went on the run as soon as it emerged over a fortnight ago that DNA tests had revealed the charred remains found in the cell belonged to someone else.

Magudumana’s father Zolile Sekeleni and prison warder Senohe Matsoara were also apprehended over the weekend at their homes in Port Edward and Bloemfontein respectively.

While the process to extradite Bester and his girlfriend is underway, it has since emerged that Magudumana allegedly stole three bodies from Free State mortuaries in a bid to help his boyfriend to escape from prison.

She reportedly claimed one of the bodies was her father’s.

The body was later found dumped in Bloemspruit dam a week later and it still had the mortuary’s identification tag attached to the toe, according to the Sunday Times.

This led to Sekeleni’s arrest.

Bester’s elaborate break from prison has raised many questions about the possible involvement of prison officials.

Matsoara, who was employed as a warder at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, is believed to have purchased a R600 000 VW T-Roc using money that he allegedly received from Bester as a bribe to help him escape.

For nearly a year after his prison escape, Bester was reportedly living a lavish lifestyle with Magudumana in Johannesburg’s upmarket Hyde Park suburb. – Staff Reporter

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