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Thabo Bester saga: department probes 'wild, overzealous' allegations

PHOTO: LUCKY NKUYANE


The Department of Correctional Services on Monday said it could not confirm nor deny allegations made by a Sunday newspaper concerning the ongoing Thabo Bester prison break saga.

Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said that's because investigations, including intelligence-driven information gathering, were yet to be concluded.

Nxumalo said DCS continued to address what he termed the media's enquiries, "no matter how wild and overzealous they sound".

At the weekend, it was reported that Bester was also involved in a prison syndicate that allegedly ran drug, money laundering, and sex operations behind bars.

Nxumalo said the allegations could on Monday not be reported as fact.

He said a detailed explanation was provided to the Sunday publication in question on the so called 'leaked report'.

"DCS National Emergency Support Team conducted a searching operation at Mangaung Correctional Centre from 22 to 25 May 2023," Nxumalo said.

"It was an operation that also involved gathering of information from inmates and officials, hence part of it was deemed intelligence driven."

The team was also making observations in terms of security procedures by Mangaung Correctional Centre, Nxumalo said.

"A significant amount of detail in that report relates to what offenders verbally provided to the team.

"Such would call for an in-depth investigation to be conducted in order to ascertain any level of truthfulness. That investigation is yet to be concluded as some of its aspects also relate to the Thabo Bester escape incident, currently before court and investigations have not been closed.

"It is unfortunate that an article by the Sunday Times fails to indicate to the reader that what it's reported on is based on allegations and not factual information."

READ MORE: Fugitive Thabo Bester arrested in Tanzania