The Complete Story of Thabo Bester; The South African Fugitive that Broke Out of Prison

The Complete Story of Thabo Bester; The South African Fugitive that Broke Out of Prison

This storyline wouldn’t fly in the movies since it resembles a scripted play. A high-profile convicted murderer was suspected of staging his death in a fire. This led him to escape jail to live in the open with his famous doctor fiancée. South African authorities were then forced to take over control of the maximum-security prison managed by a private British security firm.

This is the most fascinating Twist and Turn situation you’ll hear about in a long time. In today’s article, I tell you all I have been down the rabbit hole with the research on this one. Stay to the end because just when you think you’ve got this story figured out, it will turn.

In today’s article, we will discuss the case of Thabo Bester, a man in South Africa. You may call it the modern version of Bonnie and Clyde (get also to watch it’s spinoff The Highway Men.)

Who is Thabo Bester?

So let’s jump right into it and start at the beginning. Thabo Bester, who we’re guessing is around 39 years old. It’s hard to tell, but his mother said she had him when she was 16 years old. Thabo’s father is not in the picture, and his mother tells a story about how she conceived Thabo.

She said that it was from somebody forcing themselves on her. She was a teenager then and needed a ride home from her sister’s house with her friends. The person kept taking different turns; they drove into an area, and then he forced himself on her, and she became pregnant.

Being a young teen mom in the 80s, she needed much help. She also needed to work, so this was when she allowed her parents to take her son and raise him when he was about one year old. It is rumored that Thabo began to get into trouble at a very young age. Literally, at four years old was the first time that he got caught stealing from a neighbor. He came home with a wad of money, and his grandpa returned the money to the neighbor, who did not even realize it was missing.

The age of 17 was his first time being released from prison as a teenager. He got arrested for different burglary charges, and it is said that his mother actually came and picked him up from prison and drove him back to his grandparent’s house.

When he was 17, his stint in prison didn’t help him because when Thabo got out, he just elevated his game. He went from taking wads of people’s money to burglarizing people’s houses. 

In the early 2000s, Thabo created a fake modeling agency. He made this fake modeling agency and reached out to young girls. A lot of them were teenagers who were aspiring models. They were putting their portfolios online, and he would contact them and offer them jobs. The connected network Thabo bester had in prison

He promised them he could get them brand deals, take them on trips, and all they needed to do would be pay him his agent fee right. So they believed him, and he started receiving all this money from these young aspiring models to the point that he met up with a few of them. 

Then he would Rob them of their cell phones, their laptops and any electronics they had. Sometimes he would even push himself on them as well. Thabo continued to do this. To take advantage of people by taking their money and upping his game. 

He was very good at conning and lying to people; it was even said that once he was at this Resort, he had a few of his inspiring models there with him. He told the two girls to order their food and drinks and have a good time, and he would take care of the bill. He returned to the room, robbing them of everything they had.

But all of Thabo’s scams would come to a halt in 2012. He was arrested for the suspected rape of two women and the killing of another. Thabo would be sentenced to life in prison plus 75 years.

People saw his trial in the media, and this is when he deemed the nickname to be the ‘Facebook Rapist.’ 

Plot Twist; Enters the Girlfriend

Now while Thabo was sitting in prison, and mind you guys, this prison that he’s in is the second largest private prison in the world. It’s also one of the ones with the most formidable people over there in South Africa. It is a big prison. 

Here enters an old flame, somebody he allegedly met in 2006. There are conflicting stories. She says she met him at college, but he reportedly dropped out of school when he was 11. There were just different things that were said, but sometime between 2016-2017, an old flame named Dr. Nandipa reached out. She began writing him while he was in prison.Dr. Nandipha Magudumana the girlfriedn to the cfugitive Thabo Bester

She was stunning. She was a celebrity doctor. She was doing all these interviews on television. She also had a big social media. Not that these things may make you better than the next person, but I’m letting you know about this woman’s success. 

She had a lot of education, and she just had all of the success right in her hands and had worked very hard for it.

From her being a teenager, she was already interested in medicine. And just continued on that path, worked her butt off to where she owns her own business and has all the success. And why did she think of writing him in prison?

Well, if it’s not stupid, it’s not love.

Swipes Right. It’s A Match!

All right, let’s go into this new character. Dr. Nandipa was not only this business owner, celebrity doctor, and all of this stuff. She was also married to another doctor living a very lavish lifestyle, and had two beautiful young daughters. She seemed to have had it all, honestly.  

She and her husband split up after the visits to the prison, and she started to fall in love with this con artist. Maybe this is around the time that Thabo decided that, you know, life in prison is just a little bit longer than I want to spend in there. So how can I get out of here? On a late night in early March of 2022, other inmates said they heard the correctional officers coming into Thabo’s cell. 

They dragged him out. He was kicking and screaming, and they took him to solitary confinement. It was hardly used because it was out of the Viewpoint of them watching him. They threw him in the cell then, in the early morning hours of March 5th of, 2022, some smoke started to come out of that cell. Officers working at the prison said they found a mattress lying on Thabo’s body. 

He completely burned up, and he was burned unrecognizable. They ended up calling the police, and the police ended up showing up at almost 7 A.M. So nearly four hours after the incident, the cops showed up, and this was when they pronounced him dead. They removed his body, and they announced it on the news.

They deemed this a self-inflicted ending of it. All the body from there was sent off to have an autopsy in DNA test done; however, that type of thing takes months.

Not long after the incident, a woman appeared at the morgue, claiming to be his wife. She was throwing a fit and saying she wanted the husband’s body. 

Thabo Bester as the chairman of the modelling agency he ran

They released the body to the woman claiming to be his wife. She took the body, and she was on the way to have it cremated. Thabo’s mother went to the morgue and said she wanted her son’s body. She further explained that the son was not married during this time. She went ahead and provided a DNA sample as well so they could match it to the body. They did end up getting the body back before it was officially cremated. 

When they did the autopsy of Thabo’s body, this is when they found that there was no smoke in the lungs. It indicated that the body was already dead. They also discovered by examining the body that it had died from blunt trauma to the head. When the DNA returned, it did not match his mother. 

This was when the South African police launched a Manhunt for him. A police spokeswoman for the South African police said a case of murder is under investigation. This was after the outcome of the DNA analysis that confirmed that the body of the deceased was found not to be Thabo Bester.

The big question? How did this man get out of the second-largest private prison in the world?

Well, the more that they started to investigate the prison when they realized it was an inside job. When he moved to that solitary confinement room, the cameras were not working. Also, somebody had tampered with the security footage, which became an even bigger situation than just an inmate escaping.

Then women started reporting they had been talking to this man. They’ve been having Zoom, and Skype calls for years as he runs the company 21 Century. 

Thabo Bester Celebrating his birthday virtually while in prison

While Thabo was in prison for years, he ran a very lucrative scam posing as the head of 21 Century Media. He had even gone as far as inventing an extensive backstory for Tom. The name he used on his website is a board of directors documented for 21st Century Group. The profile described Tom as a South African investment strategist. A progressive and Innovative businessman. A thought leader with sound knowledge of operating a successful Global brand.

The cops are looking into this. They’re like, hold the heck up. We thought we jus

t got this con artist off the street. He’s. in prison, and he’s got a whole business going? He’s got his pictures on websites, and he’s doing Zoom calls. How is he doing Zoom calls while in prison with a tie and suit?

During his calls, there were celebrities there. They had fancy dinners, and he was on a Zoom call. He told them he could not attend this event because he was in New York for a meeting. So they believe they’re talking to him, and he is the chairman of this event. It was even done on June 13th on his birthday, and the people there sang happy birthday to him.

Thabo Bester Meetings

So now investigators are like, what is going on? 

Thabo Bester Photoshopped himself in other people's pics
Thabo Bester photoshopping himself on the pseudo twitter account

He’s got connections on the inside of the prison. At the very least, he can pull away from his cell, get good lighting, and zoom in with decent enough internet in a correctional facility. 

Tom even had a Twitter account where he liked all these photos of him doing everyday things. But really, he was photoshopping pictures of his face in other people’s photos. He even went as far as talking other people from different companies into leaving their jobs to come and work for him. He was running this entire Mega company with all of these employees all over the place, making Financial transactions through Zoom meetings.

The Downfall

In June of 2022, somebody took a picture of their favorite celebrity doctor out shopping in public. And this is when people started to recognize Thabo as slightly different from their celebrity doctor. Somebody even sent this photo of them shopping to one of his alleged victims, and she confirmed it was him.

There was all of this swirling online and discussion about it. What is Thabo doing out on the streets with this celebrity doctor?A photo of Nandipha Magudumana shopping led to users online take notice of Thabo Bester

They allegedly started a new company while he was out. It’s not on the run because, in their minds, the prison, they think he’s dead, so now he’s living his life. He changed his appearance a little bit. He put on a little weight, grew his hair, put on some sunglasses, and lay low.

Well, in March of this year, 2023, it went viral that it was official that he was alive. He had escaped prison, and he was on the run somewhere; the media Outlets went wild, and everybody was starting to look for him. When they began digging deeper into Dr. Nandita, they realized she had abandoned her whole business.  

And it is also rumored that they had a lady that was cleaning their house. She allegedly walked into the house one day to clean and never came out. There are a lot of rumors online that this woman could be buried somewhere in the backyard or something.

Saturday, April 8th, it was announced that Thabo had been arrested the night before. He was arrested along with his girlfriend, the doctor, the one that he claims to be his wife.

The police Minister said the three were held near the Kenya border as they attempted to leave the country. Authorities dropped a black SUV, and the fugitives were in it. They were traveling after leaving a hotel. The reports say that all three of the suspects had multiple passports on them. Thabo Bester arrested while attempting to flee to Kenya with girlfriend

The third person that was arrested was the doctor’s father. Come to find out that the doctor’s father had connections with allegedly the warden at the prison. The warden was arrested as well as he was suspected of being involved in getting Thabo in and out. The doctor reportedly was going down and claiming bodies from the morgue. We don’t know what she said to get them. But allegedly, she went and got three dead bodies. Probably, that’s how they ended up getting a body into the cell.

The father and the doctor had plenty of money. It is rumored that they could have been in the organ harvesting trade. That is why she quickly got bodies; they had so much money.

What we know for sure is that Thabo is going back to the same sentence he already had. And now all of these people are going down with him. Also, two prison officials were arrested because of their help. 

People like Bester and Magudumana personify the epitome of the entrepreneurial spirit. The public’s attitude to the Bonnie and Clyde combo is a combination of revulsion and intrigue, as seen by a Twitter campaign in South Africa urging Netflix to produce a film or documentary about the notorious criminals. This is not illogical, and many people have noticed that the two possess qualities like cunning and persuasion essential for life’s success.

The Guy

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