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'Hardworking and loyal': Investigator in Thabo Bester prison escape case dies

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'Hardworking and loyal': Investigator in Thabo Bester prison escape case dies

6th June 2023

By: News24Wire

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The police on Monday confirmed the death of one of the investigators in the convicted rapist and killer Thabo Bester prison escape case.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said they were still probing the circumstances surrounding the death of the investigator, who was also the police's provincial head of organised crime.

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According to Netwerk24, 59-year-old Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi took his own life.

It reported he had been seen in the Bloemfontein High Court earlier on Monday, where Dr Nandipha Magudumana's urgent application to declare her "deportation" from Tanzania unlawful was dismissed.

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The publication reported he left the court after the verdict and drove to the state garage in Hamilton, where his body was later found in his car.

National police commissioner Fannie Masemola said Mkhaulesi was a "hardworking, loyal and dedicated detective" and had been an expert in crime detection.

Masemola said he served the police for 31 years and his death would leave a void in the service.

"Over the years, he has proven himself a highly skilled detective with a wealth of experience and knowledge in crime detection. "His departure leaves a void in the South African Police Service (Saps) detective environment. On behalf of the Saps, our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of our officer."

Mathe added Mkhaulesi's family and colleagues would receive counselling from the police's Employee Health and Wellness.

Magudumana fled South Africa with her lover, Bester, in April.

Bester was serving a life sentence in the Manguang Correctional Centre when he escaped in May 2022 after orchestrating a fake suicide by fire.

The couple was tracked to Tanzania and "deported" to South Africa on 13 April 2023.

On Monday, Judge Phillip Loubser found the "deportation" was, in fact, a "disguised extradition" but ultimately found against Magudumana because she had willingly consented to leave the country.

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