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Police mum on whose charred remains were found in Thabo Bester’s prison cell

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Despite the DCS and police confirming that the body found in Thabo Bester’s Mangaung Correctional Centre cell was not his, they have yet to reveal who the deceased was.

Facebook rapist Thabo Bester tries to hide his face as he is sentenced in the high court for murder. File picture: Brenton Geach, ANA

THE POLICE have confirmed that a murder investigation has been launched to determine whose charred remains were found in a prison cell at the Mangaung Correctional Facility.

At the weekend, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) revealed that Facebook rapist Thabo Bester had escaped from custody in May last year.

The department said that a body had been found in Bester’s cell but it was not him. The DCS previously said Bester had died after setting a fire in his cell.

DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said a post-mortem conducted on the body that was burnt beyond recognition in Cell 35 at Mangaung Correctional Centre revealed that it was an adult male who was killed by blunt force trauma to his head.

“The post-mortem report further revealed that there were no signs of smoke inhalation in the body. Furthermore, it uncovered that the pancreas and the spleen in the body were in the early stages of decomposition. Over and above that, the DNA sequencing with a person identified to be the mother of Bester failed to indicate a common ancestor, or a match,” Nxumalo said.

SAPS national commissioner General Fannie Masemola said detectives from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) and the Organised Crime Investigations (OCI) units in the Free State and Gauteng have been working together around the clock on this investigation.

“A case of murder is under investigation following the outcome of the DNA analysis that confirmed that the body of the deceased which was found was not of Thabo Bester,” he said.

Masemola added that a case of escape from lawful custody was also registered on confirmation by the DCS that Bester was not in their custody.

“The likelihood of more charges being added cannot be ruled out as the investigation unfolds,” Masemola said.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the investigations, (we) are appealing to the public for patience and that the detectives be allowed the space to conduct a thorough investigation towards building a watertight case that can ultimately stand in court.”

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