Where is Thabo Bester? Kgosi Mampuru fire sparks concern.

Where is Thabo Bester? Kgosi Mampuru fire sparks concern.

Has Thabo Bester escaped again? The Department of Correctional Services responded to speculation following a fire at Kgosi Mampuru prison.

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A fire at Kgosi Mampuru’s Correctional Centre on Thursday, 25 April, has fuelled rumours Thabo Bester has foiled another elaborate prison escape.

The convicted fraudster, rapist, and murderer is currently serving three life sentences at the  C Max prison in Prison. He’s also facing new charges of his 2022 prison escape, as well as fraud, corruption, and violating multiple bodies.


On Friday, EWN confirmed that a fire took place at the Kgosi Mampuru prison on Thursday. Four staff members were transported to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

According to City of Tshwane emergency services spokesperson Charles Mabaso, the fire broke out in the staff quarters.

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He told the publication: “It is suspected that the fire must have started in one of the units and rapidly spread to other units because of the absence of firewalls between the units. A total of 26 of the tenants living in the units were affected by the fire.”

Following the reports, social media users began questioning if notorious fraudster Thabo Bester had anything to do with it.

In May 2022, Bester faked his death and escaped the Magaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein. This, allegedly was done with the help of romantic partner Nandipha Magudumana.

Mangaung – near Grootvlei – is the second-largest private prison in the world.

Speaking to The South African, Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri confirmed that the fire at Kgosi Mampuru had affected the residence of wardens.

“This is not the section where inmates are housed. The actual correctional services was not impacted by the fire”.


Kgosi Mampuru is one of two super-maximum security prisons in South Africa, the other being Ebongweni in Kokstad.

At some point during the prison sentence, these high-profile offenders – including Thabo Bester – once served time at the Pretoria prison.

They are…

Kgosi Mampuru prison is home to several high profile criminals including Nicholas Ninow Rosemary Ndlovu and Oscar Pistorius 1


Meanwhile, in a press briefing last year,  the police and correctional services departments revealed that Kgosi Mampuru was the ideal choice to incarcerate Thabo Bester.

This is because it affords the following assurance:

Bester has also been transported in a police Nyala – a bullet-proof vehicle of maximum security.

When asked why the Kgosi Mampuru prison was chosen to be Thabo Bester’s new home behind bars, Correctional Services National Commissioner Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale said: “It was the most appropriate facility.”

He added: “We looked at the security plan…[They] have security measures to ensure that he doesn’t harm himself or that he is not harmed by any other person”.

“We chose to accommodate him at C-Max because of the intensity of the security and the contact we need to manage around him, given the type of offender he is.”

Thobakgale added that the prison is occupied by “high-profile and high-risk offenders.” He continued: “We have not had any security breaches or incidents.”

Would Thabo Bester be pulling an Ananias Mathe – i.e., a prison escape – out of Kgosi Mampuru anytime soon?

According to KayaFM, Thobakgale said: “The prison was upgraded in the past five years, and he will never escape.”


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