According to a report by GroundUp, Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana, South Africa’s notorious “Bonnie and Clyde” couple in Mzansi, had the privilege of living in luxury while Bester was serving jail time at the Mangaung Correctional Center.
The couple were able to enjoy romantic prison getaways, with the help of G4S security officials, who served as Bester’s personal chauffeur service. The couple allegedly went on multiple 5-star trips, with Bester being driven from Bloemfontein to Ballito to meet up with Dr Nandipha and her daughters. This revelation suggests that the convicted rapist and murderer lived a life of comfort despite being incarcerated.
The report stated that Dr. Nandipha gave credit to their property company Arum Properties/Travel for providing them with a “much-needed change in scenery” during their trips, and shared pictures from their travels.
However, the couple reportedly made their bookings using aliases, with Bester using the name Tom Nkwana, while Dr. Nandipha posed as Dr. Enjoy Magudumana Nkwana.
These trips took place between April 2021 and March 2022, while Bester was still serving his sentence. It was only later in May 2022 that he faked his death and escaped from the Manguang prison.
Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana Baecations
In March 2022, during their last trip to Ballito, Bester and Dr. Nandipha apparently used the opportunity to finalize his escape plan. Bester booked one room under his alias for March 9-11, while Dr. Nandipha booked two additional rooms for March 11-13 and March 12-14. Later, Dr. Nandipha checked herself into the same hotel leading up to Bester’s escape, from April 19-30, 2022.
According to the report, the couple spent over R120 000 on these trips. However, police apparently failed to collect an invoice for one of the couple’s prison getaways, which was from the Hyde Park property that they abandoned weeks before being apprehended in Tanzania.
Since the couple were arrested in Tanzania and brought back to South Africa, they have both made court appearances, Dr Nandipha is back in court on the 17 April (today) and Thabo Bester is back in court in May.
There have been videos of Bester doing the rounds in normal clothes, which suggests that he had so much freedom in jail, or perhaps they were recorded when he was out on his getaways.
This case has gripped South Africa, and it will only get interesting as people involved in his escape are ratted out.