On Monday, 17 April, Dr Nandipha Magudumana verified her identity in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court by complying with the request to remove her mask and uncover her face.
The State Prosecutor had raised concerns about Dr Nandipha’s deliberate concealment of her face since her arrest.
“I understand that the accused may want to have her face covered when she is making her entrance into court, but we are inside the courtroom, and as the State Prosecutor, I have not seen her face.
I have the right to know that the person present in court, is actually the accused and not the wrong person. So, I am requesting that she remove her mask.”
It was at this moment that the court saw Dr Nandipha without her mask, which she has been using to hide her face since coming back to South Africa, since her and Bester’s arrest.
Dr Nandipha Criminal Charges in the Thabo Bester Escape
The second court appearance of the aesthetics doctor, her father, a former G4S employee, and a CCTV technician was focused on bail-related matters.
The accused, namely Dr. Nandipha, Zolile Sekeleni (her father), Senohe Matsoara (formerly employed at G4S), and Teboho Lipholo, were implicated in the brazen escape of Thabo Bester, a convicted rapist and murderer.
The charges against them include murder, defeating the ends of justice, aiding and abetting a convict, and aiding and abetting a fugitive.
Dr. Nandipha is further charged with fraud and violation of bodies, as it was reported that she had claimed 3 dead bodies for the purposes of cashing in on insurance money. Matsoara, Lipholo, and Dr. Nandipha are expected to remain in prison until their formal bail application on 3rd/4th May.
Her father, Sekeleni has been granted bail of R10 000 but is subject to certain conditions. He is required to report once a week to the Port Edward Police Station and directly to Colonel Flyman, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Furthermore, he is not permitted to leave Port Edward and must refrain from any direct or indirect interference with state witnesses. Failure to comply with the conditions may result in a warrant of arrest, and the bail may be revoked.
Sekeleni, who is 65 years old, is expected to appear in court on 16 May. On the other hand, Dr. Nandipha’s accomplice, Thabo Bester, will also be in court on Monday. Bester, also known as the “Facebook rapist,” escaped from Mangaung Correctional Center in May 2022 by faking his death.
He faces additional charges, including murder, fraud, and escaping from lawful custody. Bester was serving a life sentence for his previous crimes before his escape, and he fled the country to Tanzania.