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Thabo Bester's escape points to security weakness at Mangaung prison – DCS

The security company running the prison G4S was removed while three Correctional Service officials were suspended.

FILE: Bester remains on the run after escaping the prison in May 2022. Picture: supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said the escape of the Facebook Rapist, Thabo Bester, from the Mangaung Correctional Centre pointed to an institution that was paralysed in terms of security systems.

Private security company G4S was removed from running the prison as per Section 112 of the Correctional Services Act.

READ: Thabo Bester escape: Correctional Services takes over running of Mangaung Prison

Bester escaped from the privately-run maximum-security prison in May in 2022 by faking his death in a prison fire.

He remains on the run.

Patrick Mashabathakga, head of C Max at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison, will temporarily replace Johan Theron, who was director of the Mangaung Prison for 23 years.

READ: Mangaung Prison director axed in wake of Thabo Bester escape – DCS commissioner

National Commissioner of Correctional Services Makgothi Thobakgale said reports on Bester’s mysterious escape pointed to a lack of security management at the facility.

“All systems that were supposed to hold on the day that the escape happened did not hold at all, and the most worrying factor is that the human factor played a major role in this escape.”

READ: G4S insists there was no prison escape from Mangaung Prison – DCS

Thobakgale said while the prison was run by G4S, Correctional Services personnel couldn’t be exonerated.

The three DCS officials were suspended for failing to play an oversight role for the security company that ran the prisons.



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