‘President orchestrated escape’: Thabo Bester name-drops Zuma in rant. Thabo Bester has name-dropped the former president Jacob Zuma in his courtroom outburst on Wednesday…

‘President orchestrated escape’: Thabo Bester name-drops Zuma in rant

Thabo Bester has hinted that his personal political affiliations – with the mention of Jacob Zuma – have hindered his ability to be treated fairly while incarcerated.

In a bizarre outburst in the Free State High Court on Wednesday, 5 June, the convicted rapist, murderer, and fraudster claimed that there was even mention that the former president had “orchestrated” his prison escape.

Bester, his alleged romantic partner Nandipha Magudumana, and seven others are facing charges of assisting his escape, fraud, corruption, and violating multiple bodies.

The accused will make their next appearance again on 24 July. The court appearance comes over a year after an image of “Zuma,” and Bester went viral on social media.


In ha court address, Thabo Bester alleged that political powers were at play behind his prison escape charges.

He said: “I have more than enough evidence to prove that there is much more than just people that work at G4S that one day decided to release me.

“It’s highly impossible without political power and without high office involved in this issue”.

Bester then dropped bombshell allegations that police had “forced’ him to plead guilty to his 2011 and 2012 rape and murder convictions. He also claimed that there was “no evidence” of any crimes.

He also claimed that his own political agenda was a factor behind his alleged mistreatment.

He said, “I am not the worst inmate in this country. I have three counts, but I am the most popular inmate for no reason because of political issues I have in my personal capacity that have nothing to do with these legal proceedings.”

Without naming Jacob Zuma, Bester claimed that an investigating officer – “who has committed suicide”  had made a statement claiming that the former president had “orchestrated” a prison escape.

Bester was referring to the shocking death of Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi. The IO was the head of the Free State Organized Crime Unit, in June 2023.

According to eNCA, the high-ranking policeman reportedly took his life after leaving the Bloemfontein High Court. Moments before, Nandipha Magudumana had had her urgent application to declare her “deportation” from Tanzania as unlawful dismissed in court.


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In April 2023, a picture of Jacob Zuma with whom appeared to be Thabo Bester, went viral.

In the Showmax docuseries Tracking Thabo Bester, various sources attempt to trace the origin of the image.

GroundUp journalist Daniel Steyn said in one segment: “Thabo Bester has obviously wormed him his way into South Africa’s rich and famous, and he could’ve gone to have a cup of tea with Jacob Zuma to pitch a business investment opportunity.”

Shortly after it appeared on social media, the Jacob Zuma Foundation distanced itself from the convicted criminal. According to the SABC, the foundation’s spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, claimed the image was a “malicious attempt to tarnish the former president.”

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