According to Times Live, Fidelity Services Group has offered a reward of U.S.$5,600 (R100,000) for the capture of convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester. Bester escaped from the Mangaung Prison in South Africa, which was being operated by G4S, a private security company. The Department of Correctional Services removed G4S’s control of the prison in response to Bester’s escape, which was described as “embarrassing” and the “first of its kind”. The Fidelity Services Group has asked the public to provide any information that may lead to Bester’s arrest and conviction. In a post on social media, the group wrote, “Help us bring this criminal to book. We are offering R100,000 to anyone who can provide us with information that leads to the successful arrest and conviction of Bester, otherwise known as the ‘Facebook rapist'”.
National Commissioner of Correctional Services Makgothi Thobakgale spoke about the department’s decision to take control of the Mangaung facility and the removal of G4S. Thobakgale said that this was a necessary remedy following the embarrassing incident, which had undermined the authority of the state. He also confirmed that detectives from various units had been working together to capture Bester.
Bester gained infamy as the “Facebook rapist” due to his use of the social media platform to lure his victims. However, he also ran a multi-million rand scam business while in prison. Bester posed as the “chairman” of 21st Century Media, a scam event and production company, which he made to look like a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. According to GroundUp, since his escape, Bester has allegedly been running a scam construction company called “Arum Properties” with celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana.
The escape of Thabo Bester has brought attention to the need for improved security measures in South African prisons. It is clear that there are significant challenges in managing violent and dangerous offenders, and it is important for the authorities to take decisive action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The public can play a crucial role in providing information that can lead to the arrest of criminals like Bester, and rewards like the one offered by Fidelity Services Group can be a powerful incentive for individuals to come forward with information.