Thabo Bester's escape appalling - EFF

Fighters say escape also confirms fallacy of private sector superiority, as prison was G4S run


Saturday, 25 March 2023

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is appalled by the reports that Thabo Bester, known as "The Facebook Rapist" has escaped from prison since the 3rd of May 2022. Bester, who was imprisoned in Mangaung Correctional Centre for multiple cases of rape and murder, has been on the loose for almost a year, after he was falsely declared dead by Correctional Services.

The escape of Bester, and the confirmation of his death by Correctional Services without having conducted the necessary DNA tests is testament to the incompetence of the Correctional Services system, and the endemic corruption in the sector. Bester's death through suicide was staged, as the deceased body found in his cell was that of another individual, while he has been on the loose for months.

It is even more disturbing that Bester was able to run a media company during his tenure in prison, possibly amassing the money necessary to orchestrate his fake death, escape from prison and have a life outside of prison without it ever being discovered that he had indeed escaped. The EFF condemns this blatant incompetence, which has undoubtedly endangered the lives of women in South Africa, and will further dent the little confidence victims and survivors of Gender Based Violence have in our justice system.

We call on a massive manhunt to be conducted by the South African Police Services (SAPS), in conjunction with Intelligence Services, to track and apprehend Thabo Bester. Furthermore, all of those who were employed at Mangaung Correctional Centre during the period of Bester's imprisonment and his escape must immediately be brought in for questioning.

This despicable occurrence must be laid directly at the doorstep of the Minister of Correctional Services, who has been too preoccupied with factional activity of his political party, to ensure that there is order in the prisons of South Africa and has failed to uproot corruption which is at the center of Bester's escape. Furthermore, Bester's escape is a confirmation of the pure fallacy of the superiority of the services of the private sector, as the Mangaung Correctional Centre exists as a facility established through a public-private partnership with Israeli-aligned security company G4S.

South Africa's nefarious relationship with the private sector, which has led to our country mimicking the profit-maximizing agenda of the prison industrial complex as ran in the United States of America, has now led to a serial rapist and murderer roaming the streets of our country.

The EFF calls on all members of society to be vigilant and report the whereabouts of Bester to the nearest law enforcement facility wherever he may be identified.

Statement issued by the EFF, 25 March 2023