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Here is why Bester, Nandipha appeared virtually for court hearing

The NPA says convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester and his girlfriend made a virtual appearance in court on Tuesday because the Department of justice and correctional services made an application, saying it would not be wise for the accused to be transported to court for a postponement.

Free State NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said the state did not oppose the department’s application in which it stated that “it would not be wise” to transport Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana for more than five hours to the court for a matter that is going to be postponed.

Bester, Magudumana, her father Zolile Sekeleni, Senohe Motsoara, Teboho Lipholo, Motanyane Masukela, Tieho Makhotsa and Nastassja Jansen have been arrested in connection with Bester’s daring escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022.

READ ALSO: Dr Nandipha grinning during virtual court hearing raises storm

Shuping said Bester appeared in court virtually from the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, while Magudumana appeared from the Bizzah Makhate Correctional Centre in Kroonstad, Free State.

“The issue was about transporting them for five and two hours, [respectively], just for a few minutes appearance. They [department] said they have to travel five and two hours to Bloemfontein just for a postponement and it would not be wise to drive there for a few minutes appearance,” said Shuping.

A return trip from Kgoshi Mampuru II Prison to the court is just over 10 hours while the distance from Bizzah Makhate Prison to the court and back is 4 hours 40 minutes.

Shuping said the application was only for Tuesday’s court appearance. He said he does not know what room Magudumana was in during her appearance.

Magudumana could be seen on visuals seated on a chair and behind her there was a shelf full of books.

During the escape, a body was smuggled into the prison in a kist and was set alight in Bester’s cell to make it look like he had died in the fire.

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