Watch: Convicted Fraudster Thabo Bester Shouts ‘tortured’ From His Prison Cell
Thabo Bester, who is serving time for fraud and facing charges for escaping from prison in 2022, has alleged that he is being subjected to torture at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre. His claims were captured on video during a media tour of the prison led by the National Commissioner of Correctional Services Makgothi Thobakgale.
Thabo Bester Speaks Out from His Cell
As Thobakgale was inspecting Thabo Bester’s cell, which is under constant surveillance, journalists asked him if he had obtained Bester’s consent to film the cell. Thobakgale replied that he did not need to ask for permission to do his job, but if they wanted to interview Bester, they had to ask him.
At that moment, a voice from inside the cell – presumably Thabo Bester – said: “I don’t like being tortured. You didn’t ask for permission to torture people.”
The SABC reported that Bester refused to talk to the media and said that he had written an “official letter” to the authorities detailing his complaints.
Thobakgale Denies Torture Allegations
Thobakgale dismissed Bester’s allegations and said that he did not raise the issue of torture with him. He said that Bester did not look like someone who was being tortured and that he was unhappy with the environment, which was for his own security.
He was referring to the isolation and high-security measures imposed on offenders at Kgosi Mampuru’s C-Max prison.
Pork-Free Diet and Poisoning Fears
In April, Thabo Bester’s lawyers claimed that he had not eaten for more than 48 hours because he was afraid of being “poisoned.”
Bester was then held at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein, where he escaped in May 2022. He has since been transferred to Kgosi Mampuru’s C-Max, where a sign outside his cell indicated his identity, prison sentence and “pork free” diet.
Nandipha Magudumana to Appeal ‘Unlawful Arrest’
Meanwhile, Thabo Bester’s co-accused Nandipha Magudumana will continue her legal battle to have her deportation declared unlawful.
Bester and Magudumana were arrested in Tanzania in early April and deported to South Africa. They are accused of plotting Bester’s prison break in May 2022.
Last month, her urgent application to have her arrest deemed lawful and seek immediate release was rejected.
Nandipha’s lawyers have filed a leave for appeal, which will be heard in court on Friday, 14 July.
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