The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has confirmed that Thabo Bester, the man known as ‘The Facebook Rapist,’ has died.
Bester was arrested in 2011 facing 30 charges including rape, kidnapping and murder. He was sentenced to life in prison by the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town just a year later.
Bester was dubbed ‘The Facebook Rapist’ because he used the social media site to lure his female victims, claiming international modelling agents were interested in working with them. He would then rape and rob them at knifepoint.
The Department of Correctional Services’ (DCS) spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says Thabo Bester was found dead inside his prison cell in Mangaung in the early hours of Tuesday, 3 May 2022.
Nxumalo says Bester’s cell had been on fire and he was found to have sustained some burn wounds.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday evening, Nxumalo says they will be investigating the foul play in Bester’s death as his cell was the only one that had been on fire.
“This was not a natural death, hence it has to be investigated. That particular correctional facility has an advanced technological system to a point that for anyone to even light a cigarette, they won’t won’t use a matchbox that many use on the streets but have certain devices that they would use, hence it’s important to establish the circumstances under which that fire started and what is it that may have been used. It’s also important to establish when the fire started. This is the only cell that had the fire.”The Department of Correctional Services’ (DCS) spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo
He isn’t the first offender to be dubbed ‘The Facebook Rapist’ as in 2021, the High Court in Johannesburg sentenced Thokozani Jiyane to eight life terms and 223 years imprisonment for raping at least ten women. Like Bester, Jiyane earned his nickname because of his modus operandi – luring his victims via Facebook, enticing them with opportunities in the film industry and offering jobs to unsuspecting women.