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Thabo Bester warned about wearing ‘disrespectful’ designer clothes in court

South African Correctional Services Commissioner Makgoth Samuel Thobakgale has said that he had cautioned convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester against wearing designer gear when he appeared for trial, as it was disrespectful to the court.

Bester, who was arrested with his sweetheart Dr Nandipha Magudumana in Tanzania earlier this year, has become a fashion sensation in court, gracing every appearance with eye catching designer gear.

In one of his recent appearances, when he was briefly reunified with Dr Magudumana, Bester was wearing a Louis Vuitton t-shirt, which cost an estimated R15 000.

In an interview with eNCA’s Dr JJ Tabane on Monday night, Thobakgale said he had warned Bester about his wearing designer gear to court appearances.

‘’I warned him (Bester) to respect the court, and those officials on duty were warned too, but Bester wore his sweater in court. I told him to respect the court. Those officials are facing disciplinary action,’’ said Thobakgale.

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Thobakgale said that if Bester had been incarcerated in a state-run facility, he would not have found it as easy to bamboozle prison officers when he made good his escape last year.

Bester was convicted in 2012 for the rape and murder of his model girlfriend Nomfundo Tyhulu.

A year earlier, he was found guilty of raping and robbing two other women.

Last May, it was reported he had been found dead in his cell after apparently setting himself on fire at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein.

‘’I also have 58 000 that are in the parole system that need to be visited and monitored on a daily basis. Out of the 30 000, only 27 000 are security officers. We have officers that are committed and put their lives on the line on a daily basis, given all the challenges that we face as DCS.

“Bester is a non-issue; remember, he escaped from a private facility. If he had escaped from our facility, we would have gotten hold of him within 48 hours. All those escapades he was involved in wouldn’t have happened,’’ Thobakgale said.