‘Facebook Rapist’ convict faked his death and escaped prison, police say – National

South African police are conducting a manhunt for a convicted rapist.

Branded a “Facebook rapist,” Thabo Bestor was serving a life sentence for allegedly luring victims on social media platforms prior to the rapes and robberies. At least one victim was killed.

In 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison for rape, robbery and murder.

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In May 2022, authorities believed Bestor died after setting fire to his cell at the Mangaun Correctional Center in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

“He was found around 03:35 (Tuesday). the cell is burnthe was lying on the floor,” a Correctional Services Authority spokesperson said, as reported by the BBC at the time.

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But that theory has now changed and police said an autopsy and DNA test over the weekend The charred corpse belongs to someone else And they believe the person died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head before he burst into flames.

Police spokesman Athlenda Mathe told AFP on Monday: “The priority at the moment is to find the fugitive and find out exactly how he faked his death. That’s it,” he said, confirming that a new murder investigation had been launched.

Police have not disclosed the identity of the human remains or whether they know how the person was associated with the prison.

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The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said: statement They wanted information leading to Bester’s arrest.

“Everything will not be done to find out the truth behind Thabo Bestor’s escape, and there will be serious consequences for all involved,” the ministry said.

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According to CBS News, Questions about Bester’s death At the end of last year, the local media picked up ground upwhose investigation found that his escape may have been aided by prison guards.

Since then, photos have allegedly surfaced showing Bester grocery shopping in Johannesburg, and Al Jazeera claims many women have come forward. prisoners contacted them Use of social media.

There is also the claim that Bestor ran a fraudulent media business from behind the bar.

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Local media outlet News24 reported that Bestor had posed as the head of 21st Century Media, an alleged subsidiary of America’s 21st Century Fox. Speech at a company event from prison while pretending to be in New York.

Bestor’s jailbreak has renewed the scrutiny of the prison, which is a public-private partnership and run by the private company G4S.

On Tuesday, the Civil Rights Coalition of South African Police and Prisons called on the Department of Correctional Services to cancel G4S’ 25-year contract in prison.

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According to local news outlet Eyewitness News, the union accused the private contractor of: Pursue profit over safety And they want the government to cancel the prison contract and take over the facility.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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