Facebook rap1st Thabo Bester stole my identity – The real Thabo Bester speaks

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For years, Thabo Bester’s life has been a living hell as he has fought to prove that the Facebook rapist, who bears his name, has stolen his identity and gone on to commit violent crimes.

Sitting in his RDP house in the Heidelberg township of Ratanda, Bester, a forklift driver, shakes his head as he explains to the Sunday Times how he believes Bester the rapist stole his identity, masquerading as him.

“I was in prison for murder in 2010 when things started really going wrong for me. I was imprisoned in 2008 after I murdered my friend in a tavern. I was sentenced to 10 years and only got out of prison in 2018.

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“In 2010 I learnt from my family that my identity document had been lost. I didn’t think much about it as there was nothing that I could do about it. My family couldn’t apply for a new identity document for me as I needed to make the application [myself].”

He said in 2012 he started getting calls from his family telling him the police were looking for him, wanting to question him for alleged involvement in a business robbery.

“I told them to tell the police it was impossible, as I was in prison. There was no way I could be in two places at once. The same thing happened again in 2018 just before I got out of prison.

“I was very confused about what was happening. It meant there was someone with my identity document, which had my address, committing these crimes in my name. The police were coming to my house and my neighbour’s house asking for me.”

Bester said after he was released from prison he began to make inquiries and discovered that a person, pretending to be him and using his identity number, had been behind business robberies in Heidelberg and Balfour and had robbed a woman on the street in Ratanda.

“I went to the police and gave them my fingerprints. They got my prison records. The cases were withdrawn against me in court … They were withdrawn because it was not me who committed those crimes. I did not commit those crimes because at the time I was already in prison. I have never been charged for robbery before because I have never committed a robbery. I have only committed murder.”

Last week Col Mavela Masondo confirmed charges against the Bester the Sunday Times spoke to had been withdrawn by the courts.

Bester said last week he heard on social media that his nemesis had escaped from prison in Mangaung and was on the run in Johannesburg.

“I was shocked. I thought this could not be happening again.

“People were asking me if it was me. I thought I cannot go through this whole mess again.

“I went to the police station on Monday and told them: here I am, here I am as the real Thabo Bester, and not that other Thabo Bester. I spoke to a detective who took my statement and fingerprinted me. I was given strict instructions not to leave my house or Ratanda.

“I feel like a prisoner with this whole thing.

“This guy has stolen my life and has trapped me in a nightmare, which is not ending because this other Thabo Bester is still out there committing crimes.”

The Facebook rapist Thabo Bester, convicted of rape and murder, is believed to have escaped from Mangaung prison in May 2022 by faking his own death after setting a mattress alight in his cell.

He is said to have used some 14 aliases during his criminal career. GroundUP recently reported the “dead” Bester was caught on camera in a Woolworths store in Sandton the previous month.

Last week, the Sunday Times reported that a person using Bester’s name committed an armed business robbery in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in October 2018 and a “common robbery” in Ratanda in June 2019. The police have also linked this person to another robbery in 2012 in Mpumalanga.

– SundayTimes


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