Correctional Services investigates as prisoner allegedly jumps to his death at Mangaung Prison where Thabo Bester faked fiery suicide death

An inmate has died by suicide at the Mangaung Maximum Security Prison after allegedly jumping to his death on Monday. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

An inmate has died by suicide at the Mangaung Maximum Security Prison after allegedly jumping to his death on Monday. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 22, 2023


The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has launched an investigation after an inmate at the Mangaung Correctional Centre died by suicide after allegedly jumping from the roof on Monday.

The DCS said the inmate who died by suicide, was serving a life sentence since 2013 for murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and family violence.

It is the latest incident at the infamous prison facility where convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escaped from after he faked his own fiery death by suicide in June last year.

Bester has since been re-arrested at the same prison facility after he and his lover, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, were captured and arrested in Tanzania earlier this year.

DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the inmate who died by suicide had been serving his sentence at the Mangaung facility since 2018.

"The DCS is able to confirm an unfortunate suicide incident by an inmate at Mangaung Correctional Centre on Monday, 21 August, 2023.

"He managed to climb to the truss of the building and threw himself to the ground. The internal hospital treated him before being rushed to an outside hospital, but sadly, he passed away. The incident happened at about 08h59," he said.

The DCS said the suicide has been reported to the SA Police Services and the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS).

"The incident was reported to the SAPS, which arrived on the scene.

"Other structures, such as JICS, will also be notified as per the appropriate procedure. An investigation is to be launched," said Nxumalo.

Meanwhile, a video circulating on social media, purportedly from an inmate, said the prisoner had embarked on a hunger strike and was not attended to.

DCS said the matter was under investigation.

"There is no record of any inmate embarking on a hunger strike. No record of any inmate not being attended to for his special needs.

"When holding a camera, people say all manner of things, hoping that they can never be brought to book/to account. Hence, we opt for an investigation to be completed before we provide a detailed report that is based on facts," said Nxumalo.

The DCS issued the G4S-run facility an intent-to-terminate contract notice in May.

The parties are currently undergoing a mediation process after the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria ordered the parties "to take the necessary steps for the finalisation of the mediation proceedings on or before 31 August 2023".

The court ordered that in the event that the mediation fails, the parties would meet in court on September 19, 2023, for an urgent determination.