thabo bester, nomfundo tyhulu

Thabo Bester murdered his girlfriend Nomfundo Tyhulu in 2011.
Images via YouTube screenshot: SABC News

Cold-blooded killer: Who was the woman Thabo Bester murdered?

Thabo Bester – infamously known as the ‘Facebook Rapist’ – brutally murdered the woman he called his girlfriend, Nomfundo Tyhulu…

thabo bester, nomfundo tyhulu

Thabo Bester murdered his girlfriend Nomfundo Tyhulu in 2011.
Images via YouTube screenshot: SABC News

The court outburst by Thabo Bester – once hailed the “Facebook Rapist” –  has likely been a slap in the face for all his victims, particularly the family of his murdered girlfriend, Nomfundo Tyhulu.

The convicted rapist, murderer, and fraudster appeared in the Free State High Court on Wednesday, 5 June, alongside his rumoured partner Nandipha Magudumana and seven others.

The group are facing charges of assisting Bester’s 2022 prison escape, fraud, corruption, and violating multiple bodies.

During his court appearance, Bester went on a rant about fearing for his life and mental health.


In court, Thabo Bester interrupted proceedings to vent about being “unfairly treated” while incarcerated. The fraudster claimed that his “human rights have been violated” and that he was seemingly being punished by “high-ranking officials.”

He said: “I am segregated from everyone for the past 15 months. I have not had access to or contact with any human, and I feel for my mental health. I’m kept in a hole all by myself…My life is in danger.”

Bester bemoaned his inability to wear his designer clothes, namely the French fashion house, Louis Vuitton.

He also shifted the blame of who was behind his prison escape. To add insult to injury, Bester claimed there was “no evidence” that he had committed any crimes.

He said: “It’s already been confirmed that I’ve escaped, but no one knows the facts. It’s already confirmed that Thabo Bester is a rapist and murderer, but there is no evidence”.

thabo bester
Thabo Bester has boldly claimed that there is ‘no evidence’ of him committing any crimes. Images via YouTube screenshot: SABC News

Responding to the bold allegations were gender-based violence activists Women For Change, who, like many South Africans, were shocked at Bester’s complaints.

The organisation shared in an Instagram Story: “He raped multiple women, killed at least one woman, and escaped prison. And now he wants us to feel sorry for him.

“The audacity”.

Other social media users agreed.

@ThabiSoul_Deep: “Someone tell Thabo Bester that he’s not a victim, please. This emotional blackmail when someone else’s child has died is not going to save him.”

@Ntokozo_Shandu: “Thabo Bester is no victim. H is soliciting public sympathy. He is very calculating and quite manipulative, that convicted rapist is unrepentant, don’t fall for his ‘charm’”

@thabisomoyo__: “Thabo Bester acting like a victim? He wants to talk about rights and how he is treated? South African law is too soft on criminals”.


While Thabo Bester has shifted the attention to himself and his personal agenda, many are reminded of the women he violated during his criminal spree.

Before becoming the mastermind of multimillion-rand scams, Bester started off as the “Facebook Rapist,” stealing laptops and cellphones and sexually assaulting multiple women he had met on the social media platform.

In the midst of it, he met car saleswoman Nomfundo Tyhulu in January 2011. According to Sowetan, he had purchased a brand new BMW 1 Series from the woman, who was also an aspiring model.

At the time, Bester had just been released from jail for committing fraud.

After exchanging details, Bester and Nomfundo embarked on a long-distance relationship for the next few months. In September 2011, Bester invited Nomfundo to Cape Town with the promise of a professional shoot.

According to GroundUp, the couple stayed in the five-star One &Only and later the Roman Retreat B&B. In the early hours of 21 September, Bester stabbed Nomfundo Tyhulu in the chest after they had a heated argument about their relationship status.

He would later tie her hands behind her back with a T-shirt and demand the password to her laptop, which he stole along with her cellphone.

Leaving her body at the B&B, Thabo Bester would go on the run from the police. Using multiple aliases, cell phones, and Facebook accounts, Thabo Bester undoubtedly put up a good chase.

“Catch me if you can”, he infamously posted on one account.


According to forensic psychologist Gerard Labuschagne who interviewed Thabo Bester in 2011, pleading guilty to rape and murder was a very calculated move on his part.

He told eNCA: “The last thing any rape suspect wants is for the victim to step into a courtroom and tell her story about what happened. He has no control over that”.

The psychologist added: “He can have control if you plead guilty….which is a very soft version of events. It’s not going to go into gory details and will just be admitting to the bare minimum. It’s also a measure of controlling and conning, and not necessarily a sign of remorse”.

Bester received three life sentences on two counts of rape, one count of rape, and armed robbery with aggravating circumstances.