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Father of dead man used as decoy in prison escape ‘doesn’t believe’ police explanation

The father of the man whose body had been used to escape prison by a murderer and rapist, says that South Africa’s government “failed” him.

Batho Mpholo does not believe the police report of Katlego Bereng Mpholo, his son’s last moments alive.

Thabo Bester was missing last May after a fire broke out in his cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, Bloemfontein. He had been convicted of raping and killing two women in 2012.

He was presumed to have died in the fires.


The DNA test confirmed that the body in the cell, which was burned beyond recognition, was not his.

Mpholo learned on Friday afternoon that Bloemfontein Police had informed Monica Matsie that the DNA test results were returned and that the body found was their missing son, who is 31 years old.

He tweeted: “The body burned by Thabo in prison was my son’s.” “Our own government fails us.” I am broken.”

Bester and his girlfriend Nandipha magudumana were arrested in Tanzania, nearly a year after a fire was supposed to kill him.

Image: Thabo Bester’s girlfriend, Nandipha Magudumana, at Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court. Photo: AP

In an interview with ENCA, Mr Mpholo said that police had told him that his son “collapsed” in town and was taken to the hospital.

Officers added that after being admitted it was found his son had died due to blood loss.

His father was informed that Mr Mpholo Junior, who was a father of a son as well as a daughter was taken to the government mortuary.

After reporting the missing son, his family visited a number of mortuaries around Bloemfontein.

Mr Mpholo stated that there was no trace of his body in any morgue.

He said, “I don’t trust it.” When asked about the police version of events, he replied: “I do not believe it.” There’s more to it.”

He does not believe that his “soccer enthusiast” son knew Bester or Bester’s girlfriend.

He said that the official story was “not true”, and he currently has no clue where his son’s corpse is.

How did Thabo Bester manage to get my son’s corpse if it was in the government mortuary? He asked.

News 24 reported that Mr Mpholo lives in Tembisa to the northeast of Johannesburg.

“I can’t believe it. His mother Monica is devastated. She’s in a state of complete shock. She is not yet able to speak. “This is devastating news.”


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