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Thabo Bester saga — Nandipha Magudumana, accomplices remain behind bars while father granted bail

Thabo Bester saga — Nandipha Magudumana, accomplices remain behind bars while father granted bail
Dr Nandipha Magudumana was requested to remove her mask to ensure precence of the correct person during her appearance at Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on 17 April, 2023 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Frikkie Kapp)

Zolile Sekeleni was bailed on a bond of R10,000 at Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court.

Zolile Sekeleni, Nandipha Magudumana’s father, was granted R10,000 bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday. But Magudumana , former G4S employee Senohe Matsoara and Teboho Lipholo will remain in custody until 3 and 4 May, when their formal bail applications will be heard.

Matsoara is a former G4S security officer at Mangaung prison and Lipholo is a former employee of Integritron, the company that maintains the surveillance cameras in Mangaung prison. Both were on duty on the day of the fire in escapee Thabo Bester’s prison cell.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Damning timelineGovernment knew of Thabo Bester escape as early as October 2022 but failed to act

Zolile Sekeleni, Dr Nandipha Magudumana

Zolile Sekeleni (centre) with his co-accused daughter Dr Nandipha Magudumana (right) appear at Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on April 17, 2023 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Frikkie Kapp)

Proceedings were briefly delayed because of rolling blackouts.

Prosecutor Sello Matlhoko told the court that the state does not oppose bail against Sekeleni but opposes it against the other three accused. They face several charges, including murder and assisting Thabo Bester to escape.

Sekeleni’s lawyer, Themba Diba, emphasised to the court that they both agreed on Sekeleni’s bail. His case will be heard on 16 May when he will appear with Thabo Bester.

Magudumana wore a hoodie and an N95 mask to cover her face in the heavily guarded courtroom. The magistrate asked her to remove the mask and show her face so that she could be identified. After Diba unsuccessfully tried to convince the magistrate otherwise, Magudumana briefly removed her mask before putting it back on.

Lipholo has had no lawyer until now but will be represented by Legal Aid. DM 

First published by GroundUp.


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