‘I recruited girls for Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana’
By Thabo Makwakwa | IOL News |
A Cape Town-based beauty salon owner has revealed that the convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester and his fugitive girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana hired him in November 2022 to recruit girls for their modelling agency known as “imedia”.
Speaking exclusively to Independent Media, the beauty therapist trading under the name “Taffy Tally Marz”, who is also known as “Talent” and runs an event management company and the Cape Town Nails Guru, which specialises in nails, manicures and pedicures, revealed that Bester and Magudumana paid him handsomely for recruiting “beautiful girls” for them.
He explained that when he was hired by the couple, he was not aware of who Bester was until he appeared in the news after it was exposed that the fugitive and his partner were the most wanted by the country’s law enforcement agencies.
“I met Thabo Bester in November 2022; he first came to my salon for a haircut and I assisted him.
“When he was about to leave he asked if he could have my number to make an appointment should he want to come again… we started chatting on WhatsApp and he invited me for lunch at the Silo Hotel where he told me about his business ventures. He said that he was in property development and media-related work.
“Bester started coming to my salon twice a week where I was plaiting his hair, three weeks later after i had met him he indicated he would bring his wife and some of the people he introduced as Dr Nandipha’s cousins.
“I did their nails (manicure) but I had questions about Dr Nandipha because I knew her from social media, I was shocked because I knew nshe was married but I decided to keep it to myself because I don’t get into other people’s private lives.
Talent revealed that he became close to Dr Nandipha and would often go out for lunch with her and the kids but did not suspect that there was anything untoward.
Furthermore, he disclosed that Bester and Magudumana owned a model agency known as Eye Model Management and that the couple had become aware of his event management skills where he hosted parties in various nightclubs around the city. Bester and Magudumana asked him to work for them recruiting girls and paid him a lot of money for his services.
“I recruited the girls as per the specific criteria they had given me. I would send them pictures and set up a meeting for Bester with the models. At some point, I would personally attend meetings with the models, and once satisfied I would send Bester their details including their pictures. I attended more than five meetings with Bester and the models.
“In December last year, Bester gave me a call and informed me that a model from Johannesburg would fly down to Cape Town and I was sent money to arrange all the logistics. I booked for her at the Capital Hotel and made her comfortable as instructed by Bester. Before the model came, we had a conference call where Dr Nandipha, Bester, and another girl discussed everything about the model.”
Taffy Tally provided Independent Media the WhatsApp messages where he was directly in contact with Bester and provided pictures and details of the models.
Bester, known as the “Facebook rapist”, successfully staged a prison break from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein in May 2022. He faked his suicide by setting another person’s body alight in his cell.
Magudumana is now facing charges of murder, fraud, aiding and abetting Bester’s prison break, arson and defeating the ends of justice.
On Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed members of the portfolio committee on matters related to Bester’s identity and return to South Africa last week.
Motsoaledi told the committee that while a sample of Bester’s DNA was taken ahead of his rape and murder trial in 2011, it was never tested.
The minister further confirmed that for his entire life, Bester had completely evaded any form of identity registration.
Bester has no identity number and has never been issued a passport.
Falcons Investigations Unit