A South African fugitive, known as the “Facebook rapist”, who infamously faked his own death in a prison break, has been extradited from Tanzania, the government confirmed on Thursday.
Thabo Bester, convicted of rape and murder, escaped from a privately-run prison in Bloemfontein in May last year, but South African authorities only discovered the deception last month.
Initially believed to have died after setting himself on fire in his cell, DNA tests in late March revealed that the charred remains found were not his. Bester, who had been sentenced to life in prison for rape, robbery, and murder in 2012, had lured victims on social media before sexually assaulting and robbing them, resulting in the moniker “Facebook rapist”.
South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola announced on Saturday that Bester had been arrested by Tanzanian authorities along with a woman, reportedly his romantic partner and a Mozambican national. On Thursday, Lamola confirmed that the pair had been extradited to South Africa, expressing gratitude to the Tanzanian government.
Bester and the woman arrived at a privately-owned airport north of Johannesburg early on Thursday morning. The woman is currently under arrest and awaiting a court appearance later in the day.
Additionally, the father of the woman was charged with murder this week in connection with the deceased individual found in Bester’s cell, further unraveling the mystery surrounding the fugitive’s escape and subsequent apprehension.