Thabo Bester
Thabo Bester ran a glamorous media company from prison. Twitter/@TheLegalSA

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has acknowledged that Thabo Bester, the so-called "Facebook rapist," escaped from prison.

Bester was incarcerated in the highest security Mangaung Correctional Centre, run by the international corporation G4S, where he was serving a life sentence for rape and murder.

Correctional services confirmed "Thabo Bester's" jailbreak break this past weekend, shocking the country with a prison break.

Thabo Bester was serving a life term for murder and a string of rapes when the incident occurred.

After seducing women on Facebook, Bester was found guilty of murder and two charges of rape.

On May 3, 2022, he was said to have lit himself on fire and died in a prison cell.

A dead body was found in the room and officials announced Bester's death at the time.

However, he has since reportedly been spotted living in the lap of luxury, reports Dispatch live.

On 11 June 2022, a prison warder at Mangaung Correctional Centre sent an email to the deputy minister of correctional services, Phathekile Holomisa, asking: "Are you aware that the inmate who 'allegedly' burnt to death at Mangaung Correctional Center was supposedly assisted ... by the Mangaung Correctional Centre and Department of Correctional Services officials at the prison to escape?"

Bester died at Mangaung Correctional Centre at 3:35 on May 3, 2022, according to the Department of Correctional Services.

According to the official version, Bester set himself on fire in his cell. G4S, a multinational security firm, oversees the facility.

Since then, according to evidence cited, Bester had escaped, and the corpse discovered in the cell was not his. Since the alleged date of his demise, he has reportedly been seen out in public several times.

A coroner's report states that although the body in the cell has not been identified, the deceased suffered blunt force trauma before being set on fire. The case's suicide was changed to murder on a police docket.

It appears that nothing changed as a result of the warder's communications.

Chrispin Phiri, a spokesperson for the justice ministry, claims that although the deputy minister is unable to find the emails, they are making every effort to track them down, reports News24.

The warder claimed that after informing the deputy minister of the alleged "cover up," he was victimized and subsequently removed from the facility.

After days of speculation, the correctional services department confirmed Bester's escape.

"A postmortem conducted on the body that burnt beyond recognition in cell 35 at Mangaung Correctional Centre revealed it was an adult male with blunt force trauma to his head. The postmortem report further revealed that there were no signs of smoke inhalation in the body.

"Furthermore, it uncovered that the pancreas and the spleen in the body were in the early stages of decomposition. Over and above that, the DNA sequencing with a person identified to be the mother of Bester failed to indicate a common ancestor or a match."

Based on this, the conclusion was that the body was not that of Bester.

"In line with the concession contract, two correctional services officials were appointed to conduct an investigation into the incident."

Convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester was running a multi-million rand scam business while serving a life sentence for rape and murder at Mangaung Correctional Centre, Ground Up reported.

Bester posed as the "chairman" of 21st Century Media, a scam event and production business, which was made to look like a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

In 2018, 21st Century Media came under fire on social media for promoting a "Women in Media" conference that turned out to be a hoax and featured speakers from the Hollywood A-list.

Thabo Bester has used aliases throughout his criminal career. While running 21st Century Media, he was known as "Tom Motsepe" and claimed to be related to businessman Patrice Motsepe.

Companies registered by Thenga include "UBS Group" (the same name as a giant financial services firm), "United Talent Agency" (the same name as one of the biggest international casting agencies) and "Black Phoenix Digital" (the same name as UK-based PR company).

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) also questioned the escape, claiming it showed management of the correctional center tried to "brush the matter under the carpet."

"This further raises questions as to whom the burnt body belongs, and how it found itself in cell 35. This brings to question the level of responsibility the department of correctional services (DCS) takes in monitoring, and the functionality of controllers which it appoints to ensure that contractual obligations with these private prisons are not violated in line with the prescripts of the Correctional Services Act," Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said.

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