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Thabo Bester saga — Escape decoy body of Katlego Bereng buried in Bloemfontein

Thabo Bester saga — Escape decoy body of Katlego Bereng buried in Bloemfontein
Mourners at Katlego Bereng’s coffin before burial in Bloemfontein on Sunday. (Photo: Becker Semela)

Family demands answers amid conflicting information from police regarding Bereng’s death.

Katlego Bereng, whose charred body was allegedly used as a decoy in convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester’s plot to escape from Mangaung Prison in May last year, was buried at Bloemfontein’s South Park cemetery on Sunday.

His identity was confirmed by DNA matches with his mother, according to police.

Among the mourners who gathered at the Leslie Monnanyane hall amid heavy rains to pay their respects, were Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs supporters from Tembisa.

Bereng was an avid Bloemfontein Celtic supporter and composed songs sung by fans at the team’s games.

“He was multi-talented and among those talents he was our composer and composed many songs for us to sing at the stadium,” said Bloemfontein Celtic supporters’ national chair Mabena Pule.

The Kaizer Chiefs supporters accompanied Katlego’s father Batho Mpholo, who is an active member of the team’s supporters’ branch in Tembisa, where he lives.

Bloemfontein Celtic supporters, Katlego Bereng funeral

Bloemfontein Celtic supporters were amongst those who attended Katlego Bereng’s funeral in Bloemfontein on Sunday. (Photo: Becker Semela)

Katlego’s aunt and family spokesperson, Poppie Bereng, said there are many unanswered questions surrounding Katlego’s death after he went missing in March last year.

Poppie said they do not understand why murder charges against the accused were dropped. The autopsy on what police say was Katlego’s body, states his death was caused by a blow to the head.

She said there were conflicting reports on his death. One was that he went out with friends — allegedly from G4S — and was injured when a fight broke out. The other report was that he collapsed in town.

Among the many questions the family had, she said they also wanted to know how the government mortuary gave his body to a stranger, resulting in him being found burnt in a prison cell.

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

Thabo Bester’s lover Dr Nandipha Magudumana, along with former G4S employees Senohe Matsoara, Motenyani Masukela, Tieho Makhotsa, Nastassja Jansen, and Teboho Lipholo are to re-appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and Friday for formal bail applications.

Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, was on 17 April granted R10,000 bail. His next court appearance will be on 16 May, along with Bester, who remains in custody. DM

First published by GroundUp.


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