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Thabo Bester jail escape: Homicide cost dropped in opposition to co-defendant in case of killer accused of faking his personal demise in South Africa


South African prosecutors have dropped a homicide cost in opposition to Zolile Sekeleni, the daddy of the girlfriend of high-profile convicted assassin Thabo Bester, who’s accused of escaping from a South African jail after faking his personal demise in a fireplace, officers advised CNN Monday.

Sekeleni’s daughter, Nandipha Magudumana, a distinguished medical physician and persona in South Africa was arrested on April 7 whereas on the run in Tanzania with Bester.

Dubbed “The Fb rapist” in South Africa, Bester was serving a life sentence for the homicide and rape of a mannequin in 2012.

Bester, 35, allegedly faked his demise by putting the charred stays of one other man in his jail cell, officers mentioned.

The couple had been arrested with a Mozambican nationwide by Tanzanian authorities final week within the border city of Arusha after fleeing South Africa and was subsequently deported to South Africa.

Magudumana’s father Sekeleni, 65, was arrested on April 8 alongside a former jail warden and a former safety digital camera technician, with the trio accused of being accomplices in Bester’s escape, in keeping with the police and prosecutors.

He had initially been charged with “defeating the ends of justice, fraud, homicide, and arson,” however that has now been dropped, a spokesperson for South Africa’s Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Phaladi Shuping, advised CNN.

A homicide investigation by authorities had earlier concluded that the burned physique present in Bester’s cell had died earlier than the fireplace started.

An post-mortem report additionally discovered that the deceased had died on account of blunt drive trauma to the pinnacle.

Shuping mentioned the homicide cost was dropped in gentle of latest proof, however added Sekeleni, a former educator, would face different prices.

“The state will now not be continuing with a cost of homicide in opposition to Zolile Sekeleni as a result of new proof got here forth, which made us take this choice. He’ll nonetheless face prices of helping an inmate to flee, defeating the ends of justice and fraud,” NPA spokesperson Shuping mentioned.

He added that “Sekeleni was launched on bail of R10,000 ($550) attributable to compelling circumstances that had been thought-about by the prosecution, regarding his well being.”

Sekeleni will make one other look in court docket on Might 16, whereas a bail listening to for his daughter Magudumana in addition to different accused can be held early subsequent month.

CNN has reached out to his and Magudumana’s lawyer for remark.

Magudumana was charged with homicide and fraud, together with aiding and abetting Bester’s escape.

In response to police, he faces new prices of escaping from lawful custody, defeating the ends of justice, violation of a useless physique and fraud.

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