WATCH: The lead investigator in Thabo Bester prison escape probe has died, police confirm



Published Jun 5, 2023


Police have confirmed the death of one of the lead investigators in the Thabo Bester escape investigation.

The police officer, who headed up the Free State organised crime unit, allegedly shot and killed themself in Bloemfontein on Monday.

This took place after the Free State high court turned down Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s bid to have her arrest and deportation to South Africa declared unlawful. The court dismissed her application as she consented to return to South Africa.

SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the circumstances surrounding the senior officer’s death remained the subject of a police investigation.

“In-house employee health and wellness experts, which include chaplains, have been dispatched to provide psychosocial services to the family and colleagues of the deceased member,” Mathe said.

She said national commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, described the member as a hard-working, loyal and dedicated detective with 31 years of service.

“Over the years he has proven himself to be a highly skilled detective with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the detective environment. His departure leaves a void in the SAPS detective environment,” Masemola said.

The officer was said to have been in court during Magudumana’s hearing where the court dismissed her application.

The case against Magudumana, Bester and six other accused – Senohe Matsoara, Zolile Sekeleni, Teboho Lipholo, Motanyane Masukela, Tieho Makhotsa and Nastassja Jansen – was postponed to June 20 by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for further investigation.

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