G4S and Correctional Services must account for Thabo Bester’s escape

Issued by Janho Engelbrecht MP – DA Shadow Minister of Correctional Services
28 Mar 2023 in News

Reports in the media that the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services was aware that Thabo Bester had escaped, and subsequently took no action is deeply concerning.

The DA will write to the Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to request an urgent meeting with the management of G4S, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, and the National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services. The purpose of the meeting is to obtain further information on the brazen prison escape of convicted rapist, Thabo Bester and bring him and his accomplices to book.

We note G4S dismissing three prison wardens from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in connection with the fire which led to Bester’s escape, this after they stated that Bester is the prisoner who burnt to death in his cell, despite DNA results stating otherwise.

It is imperative that the South African public is afforded the truth and full details behind how an escape of this nature occurred, how may prison officials and potentially political leaders were involved, and what actions were subsequently taken by Correctional Services and the SAPS.

It is becoming more apparent that Thabo Bester had assistance by high-ranking officials in coordinating an intricate prison escape of this nature. It must also be established as a matter of urgency, the identity of the inmate who died from blunt force trauma before being set alight.

The DA will not relent in insuring justice is done as this saga is merely a symptom of the corruption deeply entrenched in the correctional service system.