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‘Tips from Thabo Bester’ Disbelief over Markus Jooste suicide scene.

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‘Tips from Thabo Bester’ Disbelief over Markus Jooste suicide scene.

Fraud, a flashy lifestyle and faking his own death? South Africans are drawing parallels to Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste and Thabo Bester…

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A graphic video of the bloodied scene where Markus Jooste allegedly shot himself in the head is circulating on social media. However, users are not convinced of its authenticity. In fact, many have compared the former Steinhoff CEO’s shock suicide to Thabo Bester faking his own death…

Bester escaped his maximum security cell in the Magaung Correctional Centre in 2022. This, was under the pretence that he had taken his own life in a prison fire.

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Like Bester, Jooste had been accused of being a high-profile fraudster known for his flashy lifestyle.

The criminal spree of Bester – who is currently imprisoned at the Kgosi Mampuru prison – is being revisited in the true-crime documentary Tracking Thabo Bester, which is currently airing on Showmax.

Jooste was also the topic of a Showmax docuseries titled Steinheist, which was released in 2022.

MARKUS JOOSTE SUICIDE SCENE GOES VIRAL

According to Sowetan, Markus Jooste allegedly shot himself in the head on Thursday, 21 March, near his luxury holiday home in Hermanus. He died shortly after arriving at the Hermanus Medi-Clinic.

Just one day earlier, the 63-year-old had been slapped with a R475 million fine by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) over accounting irregularities recorded at Steinhoff International between 2014 and 2017.

Jooste – who infamously resigned amid the high-profile investigation – was widely hailed as the mastermind behind SA’s biggest corporate fraud case.

According to Mail & Guardian, FSCA handed over the investigation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (the Hawks) for a criminal investigation. In a statement on Friday, both agencies confirmed that there was a warrant out for Jooste’s arrest.

The 63-year-old allegedly took his life after learning of his imminent arrest.

On X, Biz News’s Alec Hogg posted a clip from the scene where Markus Jooste reportedly killed himself. In the clip, taken near the rocks on the Kwaaiwater Beach, was a pool of blood believed to be that of Jooste’s.

Hogg said in the clip: “The blood is still evident. As you can see, there is still evidence of what happened and where it happened”.

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HOW THABO BESTER FAKED HIS OWN DEATH

In Showmax’s Tracking Thabo Bester, viewers learned of how the infamous criminal, once dubbed the “Facebook Rapist,” escaped his Mangaung prison cell on 3 May 2022.

At the time, Bester was serving three concurrent life sentences. They were for two counts of rape, one count of murder, and armed robbery with aggravating circumstances.

According to GroundUp, shortly before his escape, Bester had moved into a corner cell, which was partially obscured from a CCTV surveillance camera.

With the help of co-accused Nandipha Magudumana, Bester then allegedly swapped a dead body -belonging to Bloemfontein resident Katlego Bereng – for his own and set fire to his cell. Several prison officials helped him flee in the middle of the night, as seen on CCTV footage.

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The Department of Correctional Services would announce his death in a statement, which has since been widely criticised. Meanwhile, Bester would take up residence with Nandipha in her R12 million Hyde Park mansion. His presence would go unnoticed.

Eleven months later, the couple was arrested in Tanzania after they skipped the country. They are currently awaiting their pre-trial in the Free State Court, which begins on 5 June 2024.

Along with seven others, the duo are facing charges of assisting Bester’s prison escape, fraud, corruption, and violating multiple bodies.

TAKING TIPS FROM THABO?

Meanwhile, social media users are running wild with theories that Markus Jooste possibly followed in Thabo Bester’s footsteps by “faking his death.”

Here’s what a few tweeted:

@JohanSm01153947: “Are you sure that it is Markus Jooste? Remember the Thabo Bester case! Couldn’t it be the body of another person stolen from the morgue?”

@MPHOKOKA1: “After seeing what happened with the Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana scandal/saga/drama, I am wondering whether Markus Jooste is REALLY DEAD.”

@Dumirocks: “I am not really convinced that that guy (Markus Jooste) really died.  I mean, Thabo Bester also died at some point.”

@raphesu_: “Markus Jooste pulled off a Thabo Bester. He is still alive chowing those millions he stole from innocent people. He just wanted the heat to die down”.

 

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