Home National Thabo Bester receives ID, ending his status as an unknown individual

Thabo Bester receives ID, ending his status as an unknown individual

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Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his department followed the due processes required by law to ensure that serial rapist and murderer Thabo Bester applies for an Identity Document (ID).

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his department followed the due processes required by law to ensure that serial rapist and murderer Thabo Bester applies for an Identity Document (ID).

Bester – who escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre last year and fled South Africa upon detection but was later rearrested – was issued with the identity card on 17 May 2023.

Addressing the media in Pretoria earlier today, Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said Thabo Bester’s ID card was delivered to him at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre by departmental officials.

This comes after the Department of Home Affairs was enlisted by law enforcement agencies to establish the identity of Thabo Bester.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his department followed the due processes required by law to ensure that serial rapist and murderer Thabo Bester applies for an Identity Document (ID).

Thabo Bester Identity Document (ID)

“The DHA conducted an extensive investigation, which included interviewing the biological mother of Thabo Bester, namely Meisie Maria Mabaso (born Bester). The investigation also involved reviewing the birth records of Thabo Bester at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and data stored in the DHA systems,” Motsoaledi said.

The outcome of the investigation revealed that despite Thabo Bester having attained the age of 16 years, he had not applied for an identity card as required in terms of the law.

In that regard the Director-General took immediate steps in terms of section 17 (2) of the Identification Act 88 of 1997.

“Acting in terms of the said section, the Director-General addressed a letter dated 15 May 2023 to Thabo Bester advising him that he had been assigned relevant officials to assist him in his application for an identity card. Thabo Bester co-operated with the said officials, who also required his mother to sign the necessary application forms,” Motsoaledi said.

Bester’s name has now been entered into the National Population Register thus ending his status as an unidentifiable person.

“The Thabo Bester saga has brought into sharp focus the issue of other inmates incarcerated in various correctional services facilities who are in a similar position as Thabo Bester.

“The DHA has agreed with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to be provided with a complete list of such inmates. Thereafter, the DHA will take steps to ensure that such inmates are issued with identity cards,” the Minister said.

The department, he added, was taking this unprecedented step because identification was at the heart of the security of the country and because a person without identification could be involved in nefarious and criminal activities and go undetected.

“I therefore call upon all eligible citizens to apply for identity cards, if and when they attain the age of 16,” the Minister said.

Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana were arrested in Tanzania after they fled South Africa.

After their arrest, senior government officials from the South African Police Service, Department of Correctional Services and Home Affairs went to Tanzania to facilitate their return.

CENTRAL NEWS

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