Dr Nandipha Magudumana is expected to receive the verdict on her bail application in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
JOHANNESBURG – Dr Nandipha Magudumana is expected to receive the verdict on her bail application in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The court postponed her application last week after both her legal team and the State submitted closing arguments.
Magudumana is accused of aiding and abetting her boyfriend, convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester, in his wild escape from the Mangaung Correctional Facility run by G4S private security company in May last year.
Other charges she faces include fraud, violating a body, corruption, arson, harbouring and concealing a prisoner and defeating the ends of justice.
If convicted, she could received a prison sentence of up to 40 years, according to reports.
In April this year, Magudumana and Bester were arrested in Arusha, Tanzania, and subsequently deported to South Africa. It is reported that Magudumana was nabbed with two passports in her possession.
She has been kept at the Bizzah Makhate Correctional Services prison in Kroonstad, while Bester is incarcerated at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility in Pretoria.
Her legal team argued and motivated the court to grant Magudumana bail, but the State was having none of it. It was argued that she is a flight risk because she escaped the country in March this year.
Through her lawyers, Magudumana alleged in her affidavit that she was kidnapped by Bester and forced to leave the country. She claimed that on March 17, 2023, the convict forced her into a car and she had no idea where she was going.
She said she was scared and helpless.
The State argued that Magudumana and Bester fled the country in March 2023 and evaded the police for 11 months.
Magudumana’s lawyer, advocate Machini Motloung, said the State showed its “desperation” when it said Magudumana had evaded justice for 11 months.
Magudumana dismissed claims that she was a flight risk after the State opposed her bid on the basis that she was facing five cases of fraud amounting to millions of rand.
Her legal team said the applicant had not been charged, arrested, or approached by the police.
In his closing argument, Motloung said the State had dealt itself a blow by detailing the shortcomings of its case.
Motloung emphasised that Magudumana stated in her affidavit that she has no previous convictions or pending cases.
He said the evidence provided by Magudumana remains unchanged.
However, in regards to the fraud charges by the State, this means the matter becomes a Schedule 5 offence, and the onus will be on Magudumana to show that it will be in the interest of justice to be granted bail.
State’s advocate Sello Mathoko said the corruption charges are serious.
Crime expert and IRS forensic investigator Chad Thomas said Magudumana will be a flight risk.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Magudumana poses a flight risk. Remember, she was part of the plan for a very sophisticated escape. She fled the borders of South Africa with a very notorious person,” said Thomas.