‘Suicide or Murder?’ Mzansi Left Divided after Top Cop On the Thabo Bester Case Shoots Himself
A top cop involved in the Thabo Bester investigation who committed suicide reportedly stopped his vehicle on the side of a busy road and shot himself.
New Details and Scene Footage Emerges
On Monday, 5 June, eNCA confirmed the death of Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi, the head of the Free State Organized Crime Unit. Mkhaulesi was also one of the lead investigators in the Bester escape saga.
New details, as well as images and a video from the scene, have since come to light.
Investigating Officer’s Tragic End
According to eNCA, the investigating officer reportedly took his life after leaving the Bloemfontein High Court on Monday morning. In court, Nandipha’s urgent application to declare her “deportation” from Tanzania unlawfully was dismissed.
#ThaboBester Police say investigations are underway into the death of Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi. He was the head of the FS Organized Crime Unit and one of the lead investigators in the Bester escape saga. #DrNandipha#eNCA https://t.co/m0jb8Totgm pic.twitter.com/qAysuY8O1o
— Silindelo Masikane (@Sli_Masikane) June 5, 2023
Journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika has provided new information, tweeting: “Just before 12 midday today, one of #ThaboBester investigators stopped his white Ford Ranger, just on the corner of Rhodes Avenue and Harvey Road in Bloemfontein and shot himself. It isn’t yet known what pushed the brigadier to take his own life.”
He added: “The brigadier had 31 years of uninterrupted service as a police officer, and he was also a provincial head responsible for Organised Crime in the Free State province.”
In a clip from the scene, the busy intersection is cordoned off by police and an ambulance service. A mortuary parlour van is also seen arriving to collect the dead body.
Loss of a Highly Skilled Detective
According to National police commissioner Fannie Masemola, Brigadier Mkhaulesi had been in the police service for over 30 years.
Masemola said in a media briefing: “Over the years, he has proven himself a highly skilled detective with a wealth of experience and knowledge in crime detection. His departure leaves a void in the SAPS detective environment.”
Thabo Bester, Nandipha Trend Amid Tragedy
Meanwhile, social media users were quick to point to both Nandipha and Thabo Bester as their focus amid this tragedy.
@MrorMsdrunkard: “Check cellphone records.”
@mlothakamaladel: “Let’s face it, Thabo Bester’s escape was known at the top, and now they can’t risk getting exposed.”
@ParisKB: “Definitely not suicide. That was a hit. Staged as a suicide.”
@KgomotsoTlhapan: “This is really sad. If it’s true he killed himself, he was probably being threatened. He obviously knew so much about this case and those who are involved in it.”
@MazimbaSa: “Isn’t Thabo Bester and Nandipha tired of all this blood spilling on their names? Why don’t they just confess.”