Three more co-accused in the Thabo Bester escape saga have been released on bail.
According to Judge Joseph Mhlambi’s ruling, Senohe Matsoara, former custodian of G4S, Tebogo Lipholo, CCTV camera operator, and Tieho Makhotsa, a control room operator, were each released on bail of R10 000.
The verdict was delivered in the High Court in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
Mhlambi said the three accused are not a flight risk and are not a threat to the witnesses.
BREAKING NEWS #ThaboBester
The Bloemfontein High Court has granted bail to Senohe Matsoara, Tieho Makhotsa and Teboho Dipholo of R10 000 each, according to their lawyer.
The three were previously denied bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) July 5, 2023
Matsoara, Lipholo and Makhotsa’s bail conditions require them to report to the Kagisanong Police Station on Mondays between 06:00 and 18:00. They may also not have direct or indirect contact with the state witnesses.
Furthermore, the accused may not leave the Bloemfontein area without written permission from the investigating officer.
Thabang Mier, another G4S guard, was released on bail on Monday.
The two other persons who appeared in court with Mier, Joel Makheta and Moeketsi Ramolula, will appear in court again next Tuesday for their formal application for bail.
The rest of the accused are expected to appear in court again on August 8.
RNews reported earlier that a total of 12 people had already been arrested in connection with the incident. All twelve defendants are expected to appear in court together on August 8.
Most of the accused were employees of the G4S private security company when Bester disappeared during a daring escape from the Mangaung maximum security prison in Bloemfontein about a year ago.
A burnt body was found in cell 35 in May last year, which initially led the authorities to believe that he had set himself on fire. The body has since been identified as that of Katlego Bereng Mpholo.
Dubbed the Facebook rapist, Bester was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 after he lured victims onto the social media platform and then raped and robbed them. He killed at least one of his victims.
Those who are currently being prosecuted for their alleged involvement in Bester’s escape include Bester’s friend Dr. Nandipha Magudumana; her father, Zolile Sekeleni; former Mangaung Prison employees, Senohe Matsoara, Monteyani Masukela, Tieho Makhotsa and Nastassja Jansen; Teboho Lipholo, a former employee of the CCTV service provider Integritron Security Solutions; and Zanda Moyo, a Zimbabwean.