Thabo Bester, a convicted rapist and murderer, along with Dr. Nandipha Magudumana, have returned to South Africa. The plane carrying them from Arusha in Tanzania landed at Lanseria Airport in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The pair had been arrested in Tanzania, near the Kenyan border, with multiple passports and identities in their possession. A delegation from South Africa, including officials from the Department of Justice and police, had traveled to the East African country on Sunday to bring the fugitives back.

In addition, Zakaria Alberto, a Mozambican national who was assisting Bester and Magudumana, has also been arrested.

Dr. Nandipha is expected to make her first court appearance soon, facing possible charges of defeating the ends of justice, aiding and abetting a fugitive, and murder. Bester is also expected to face additional charges related to his daring prison escape.

Thabo and Nandi are Back in South Africa

After landing on South African soil, Bester and Dr Nandipha were ushered directly from the plane into two separate vehicles amid heavy police presence.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola will provide an update on the return of Thabo Bester and Dr. Nandipha to South Africa on Thursday morning. Several accomplices have been arrested in connection with the saga.

Police have confirmed the arrest of a 44-year-old employee of a company that installs CCTV cameras at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, where Bester escaped from. Another individual who allegedly drove Dr. Nandipha’s car is also in custody and being questioned.

Bester had escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May 2022, initially believed to have committed suicide by setting himself on fire in his cell. However, it was later revealed that the charred body found was not Bester’s, and he had been alive and on the run for nine months. An autopsy report indicated that the deceased had died from blunt force trauma to the head, leading to a murder investigation by the police.