'I am not a whistleblower' - Dr Nandipha's brother fears for his life following Thabo Bester escape

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Thabo Bester didn't die in his cell, he escaped from prison
Thabo Bester didn't die in his cell, he escaped from prison
Khaya Ngwenya

He was just a concerned citizen who was worried about his sister. He was troubled by her connection with a convicted rapist and murderer - that's all. 

He's not a whistleblower, he insists. But he's been labelled as one by South Africans after a post he wrote last year was included in the first breaking story about Thabo Bester's daring escape from jail. 

Now Nkosinathi Sekeleni, who is Nandi Sekeleni Magudamana's brother, is in hiding and worried about his family. 

Whisteblowers have been killed in South Africa previously and he doesn't want to suffer the same fate. 

Who is Thabo Bester, who is Nandi and how did this all come together?

News about his sister being close to a man who was supposed to be in prison for killing and raping a BMW saleswoman Nomfundo Tyhulu, has been trending for days on social media after Ground Up published a detailed story about how the body that was found in his cell at Mangaung Correctional Service was not his.

Thabo Bester, dubbed a Facebook rapist, became famous for preying on young women through Facebook and after he was caught, he agreed to a plea deal with the state for the murder of 26-year-old Nomfundo at a guest house in Cape Town in 2011.

He was called a Facebook rapist because he targeted and lured young ladies through social media by promising them modelling jobs. When he met them, he would assault and rob them, and the fortunate ones lived to tell the tale.

The convicted killer and rapist known as Thabo Bester was supposed to be serving his sentence when one day, there was a fire in his cell, and thereafter he was spotted out and about with popular celebrity doctor, Nandipha Sekeleni Magudumana, shopping in Sandton.

Thabo Bester had up to 13 aliases at one point which are Thomas Bester, Tom Bester, Thabo Tom Bester, Tom Kelly, Thomas Kelly Bester, Katlego Nkwana, TK, Thomas Kelly Young, Kelly Young, Thomas Magagula, Thabo Magagula, Kelly Johnstone, Rufus Mahopo and Tom Rufus Reddy.

Last year, Dr Nandipha’s brother posted on social media that his sister is in contact with a monster by the name of Thabo Bester, who is serving a life sentence in Grootvlei.

Read more | 'After I killed and dismembered her, I could not sleep in the house alone' - Flavio makes more admissions

The post reads: “She even exposed her two little daughters to this monster. In the outside world, he goes by the name TK Nkwana. He was a sponsor of her event, called The Doctors Network ,and has been laundering money through her business, Optimum Medical Aesthetics. She has dug herself into a hole. For a married woman having an affair with such a lowlife as this, she is a shame to the Sekeleni family. With this country fighting GBV and corruption we still have monsters like this operating on the outside while in prison. I have evidence in the form of recorded telephone calls. I am posting this because two nights ago a gunman tried and failed to kill me, my wife, and my child.”

Speaking to Drum, Nkosinathi Sekeleni says he doesn’t want to be labelled a whistleblower because that will put him and his family in danger.

He says when he posted, he was angry and the post went to the court of South Africa, the case was dropped, and he was angry that he didn’t have evidence and it was like he was assuming everything.

“I wrote that post last year because I had my suspicions. We went to court and the case was dismissed, we were told that there was not enough evidence to prove what I have written. I have moved past that and now that someone is doing their job, I am called a whistleblower, I want to fix that, I am not a whistleblower.”

When he wanted to expose this, no one listened to him. Now he has nothing more to say on the matter for fear of putting his family in danger. So, at the moment he can’t confirm or deny anything but will wait for the law to take its course.

“This is affecting my job and what I do for a living as a freelance video journalist. I can’t provide for my family now because I am all over the place, I can confirm that because I am very scared of what I am reading, it sort of puts me in the mix of what is unfolding. Law enforcement is supposed to do its job because now everyone is relying on my limited information of whatever is going on. I am worried about my safety, that is why I am doing public interviews to express that I did not expose anyone so I can’t be a whistleblower.”

Nkosinathi says they are currently not on speaking terms with his sister, he doesn’t know where she is now. He tells Drum that he doesn’t want to speak for his family members at the moment, they have their voices.

“I last spoke to her a few weeks ago. I have applied for various job opportunities, but companies will be skeptical to consider me and scared to book me for jobs now. How am I going to provide for my family? I was supposed to start my new freelance gig but after all of this, no one came back to me, I assume that they picked up my name and if I am going to be called a whistleblower, how am I supposed to provide for my family?”

Read more | 'There were bodies all over, lying in pools of blood' - family spokesperson on Gqeberha mass shooting

At the weekend, the Department of Correctional Service confirmed that Bester's body was not the one found in Cell 35 at Mangaung Correctional Center on May 3, 2022, following a fire. Bester's escape from prison was confirmed by an internal report.

"DCS is appealing to the public to assist with any information that may lead to the re-arrest of Bester. Such information should be provided to the nearest police station or a correctional services facility," reads the department statement.

A post-mortem on the body that was burnt beyond recognition revealed that it was an adult male with blunt-force trauma to his head. The post-mortem report further revealed no signs of smoke inhalation in the body.

Furthermore, it uncovered that the body's pancreas and spleen were in the early stages of decomposition.

"The DNA sequencing with a person identified to be the mother of Bester failed to indicate a common ancestor or a match. This is the basis upon which the DCS investigation report concluded that Bester escaped from lawful custody on 3 May 2022.”

DCS says two officials from their department were appointed to investigate the incident.

"No stone will be left unturned in getting to the bottom of Thabo Bester’s escape, and there will be serious consequences for any party involved."

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