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Thabo Bester: No bail for four accused

by Thys Khiba
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Bail was denied to four of the five Thabo Bester Escape suspects

By Thys Khiba – The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court has denied bail to four of the five people accused of helping convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester, escape from prison last year.

Magistrate Mohlolo Khabisi on Monday delivered hisjudgement in the bail hearing for former G4S employees,Nastassja Jansen, Senohe Matsoara, Motenyani Masukela, TiehoMakhotsa, and CCTV technician Teboho Lipholo.

Only Jansen was granted R10 000 bail by Khabisi. Her charges are classified as Schedule 1. She is expected to report to a local police station every Friday. She is not allowed to contact state witnesses or investigating offices. The other four accused face Schedule 5 charges of corruption and aiding an escape, among other charges.

Khabisi indicated that Motsoara, Masukela, Makhotsa and Lipholo did not submit sufficient evidence to satisfy the court that they will not interfere with state witnesses. He continued to say that the State’s case against Jansen is “porous” and that the State did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the interest of justice would not be served if bail was granted.

During the bail hearings, the State’s witness, investigating officer Tieho Flyman, the accused were all involved with helping Bester escape.

The criminal trial is expected to start on 20 June.

The five accused are expected to appear together with Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester, who are still in custody and did not apply for bail.

Granted bail application:

Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni is currently out on bail. He is accused of hiring the vehicle used to drive the body into the prison.

Positions:

Lipholo, a CCTV technician, is accused of cutting power to the CCTV cameras on the night of the fire and placing the bag with the decoy body in a wheelie bin and wheeling it into the prison. He faces 10 charges, including fraud and arson.

Masukela is accused of letting the vehicle carrying the decoy body into the prison complex, faces five charges. Makhotsa and Jansen were both in the central control room on the night of the fire and are accused of opening the doors for Bester.

Matsoara, who was a supervisor on duty in the area of the prison where Bester was being held. He is accused of bringing a decoy body into the prison cell, starting the fire, and helping Bester leave the prison. He faces 13 charges.

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CENTRAL NEWS

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