Thabo Bester: Prison Break Story Of A Facebook Rapist

Thabo Bester's Breakout Story, Biography, Real Name, Age, Girlfriend, Net Worth, Parents, House

Information Details
Nickname “Facebook rapist”
Charges Rape, murder, fraud, defeating the ends of justice, escaping, violating a body
Birthdate June 13, 1986
Birthplace Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, South Africa
Nationality South African
Current Status Rearrested in Tanzania, appeared in Bloemfontein Magistrates court
Known Associates Dr. Nandipha Magudumana (girlfriend)
Escape Method Faked his death with help from guards at Mangaung prison
Escape Date April 12, 2023
Recapture Date April 14, 2023
Additional Information Found with an American passport under the name Tom Williams Kelly


Thabo Bester, also known as the Facebook Rapist, is a convicted criminal (for rape and murder) who escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in South Africa in 2022 by faking his death. Bester had escaped by “pretending” to have set himself on fire and was on the run for almost a year before being caught in Arusha, Tanzania, on 8 April 2023. He was arrested along with his girlfriend, Dr. Nandipha Magudumana.

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Thabo Bester is believed to have been born in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa. However, after being caught in Tanzania, it was discovered that he was never officially documented as a South African citizen with the Department of Home Affairs. South African Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said that when he was caught in Tanzania last week, he was found in possession of an American passport. The passport had the name, Tom Williams Kelly.

Thabo Bester’s Breakout Story

Motsoaledi attributed it to issues around his complicated upbringing. He stated that Bester’s mother, Maria Mabaso, could never register him after giving birth at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in June 1986.

He became infamous after the story of his criminal activities went viral online. He is known for rape, murder, and con artistry.

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Thabo Bester in court

In 2012, Thabo Bester was sentenced to life in prison. The police said he used Facebook to lure his victims to meetings, where he raped them. Bester was also found guilty of his girlfriend’s murder. In 2011, he stabbed her to death and also raped two girls. The media dubbed him the Facebook Rapist.

In 2012, he began serving time at the Mangaung Correctional Services. While in prison, Bester ran a scam construction company called Arum Properties with his girlfriend Magudumana, a celebrity doctor. They convinced several people to pay millions of Rand for construction projects but never delivered the agreed goods.

On 3 May 2022, Bester escaped from prison after faking his death. He placed an unidentified body in his jail cell and set it on fire leading the prison officers to believe he set himself ablaze. Local media expressed doubts that the burnt body was Bester. His escape was finally discovered after the Correctional Services Department confirmed that the burnt body was not a DNA match for him. The police announced that a new murder case had been opened after making the discovery.

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Thabo Bester in court

Also, the private security firm, Fidelity, took to Facebook to offer a R100 000 award for any information leading to his re-arrest and conviction. He remained at large after that. Employees of G4S, a British-owned security company that ran the prison where Bester was held, have been accused of aiding his escape from prison. Reports reveal that three employees were dismissed in connection with the incident.

Over the past year, there were reported sightings of Bester in South Africa. Some claimed he was spotted grocery shopping in Johannesburg and was living in a rented mansion. Several media reports reveal he lived with his celebrity doctor girlfriend, Nandipha Magudumana, since his escape.

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Nandipha Magudumana, Bester’s girlfriend

On April 9, 2023, news broke that Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana had been caught and arrested in Tanzania. Officials revealed that they were captured with a Mozambican national believed to have helped them to cross borders and evade law enforcement authorities. They were found about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Kenyan border with unstamped fake passports.

It was reported that Tanzanian authorities had started the process to extradite them back to South Africa, where they would face several charges. Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said, “An official delegation from South Africa, comprising senior officials from the police and the Department of Justice and correctional services, will depart for Tanzania on Sunday.”

Magudumana is expected to be charged with murder. This would be part of the jailbreak plot from the Mangaung Correctional Centre. The South African Ministry of Justice confirmed their arrests online, “Bester has been readmitted into the Kgosi Mampuru Central Maximum correctional facility, and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana is under arrest, pending her first court appearance.”

More recent reports revealed that Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, and a suspended prison warden Senohe Matsoara were also charged with murder, arson, and aiding and abetting Bester’s escape.

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