BY Francis Akhalbey, 1:30pm April 11, 2023,

South African prison escapee who faked his own death arrested in Tanzania 

Thabo Bester was arrested in Tanzania -- Photo via The Citizen

Thabo Bester, the wanted rapist and murderer who faked his death before escaping a South African prison, was arrested in Tanzania on Friday after being on the run for a year. According to BBC, it was initially thought Bester passed away in his prison cell after setting himself on fire. 

Authorities ultimately launched a manhunt for the prison escapee after a new post-mortem established the deceased person was not Bester. However, the wanted man’s girlfriend and another suspect have been arrested; according to Police, the three individuals were suspected to be planning to flee to Kenya. 

Known as the “Facebook rapist”, Bester was convicted in 2012 after he was found guilty of raping and killing his girlfriend. He was also accused of raping and robbing two other women the year prior.

He was being held at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein when he was supposedly found dead in his cell. Authorities have however launched a new murder investigation after it was established that the dead person was not Bester. That individual’s cause of death was ruled as blunt-force trauma to the head.

The Mangaung Correctional Centre is being managed by G4S, a British-owned security company. In the wake of his escape, the company was accused of facilitating Bester’s escape; three workers were also relieved of their duties as a result. 

Following his prison escape, Bester, who will be extradited to South Africa, was reportedly spotted at locations including Johannesburg. He was said to be staying in a rented mansion in the city. 

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 11, 2023


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