Convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester ran a glamorous media company from prison.
21st Century Media was made to look like a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox and was responsible for the “Women in Media” conference, which turned out to be a scam.
Bester created a new persona, “Tom Motsepe”, posing as the company’s chairman based in New York.
It has come to light that the convicted serial rapist who lured women on social media before raping them was running a multi-million event and production company behind bars in 2018.
The company was allegedly so big that when it was launched in Sandton in 2018, big names like Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Amanda Du Pont were in attendance.
In a video doing the rounds on social media, Bester who was serving life imprisonment at the Mangaung Correctional Center in Free State addressed the event virtually, made delegates sing happy birthday to him pretending to be in New York, USA while in prison in a suit.
According to GroundUp, Bester ran an event and production company media company while in prison and even hired employees and paid their monthly salaries in 2018. The company called 21st Century Media which Bester made it look like a subsidiary. Bester who was the company ‘chairman’ called himself Tom Motsepe while running the alleged multi-million scam. The company even stranded in 2018 for promoting a “Women in Media” conference with Hollywood A-listers as guest speakers, which also turned out to be a scam. The company’s former employee who spoke to GroundUp says that he was approached by Bester’s company and was offered a lucrative salary and encouraged to leave their job. The employee later left the company after it was discovered that the tax deducted from their salaries was not going to SARS.
GroundUp reported last week that Bester who reportedly died in a fire in prison in May last year was alive and free. He was allegedly spotted doing shopping at a Woolworths store in Sandton with celebrity doctor Dr Nandipha Sekeleni-Magudumana known as Dr Nandi. Dr Nandi has also disappeared since the expose last week. She reportedly left her rental property in Hyde Park earlier this week as per GroundUp. There are reports that Dr Nandi tried to claim the body that was believed to be of Bester claiming to be his common-law-wife. The DNA conducted on the body found in cell number 35 did not match that of Bester’s biological mother. Police Minister Bheki Cele says he has a team investigating the claims of the death of Bester
GroundUp spoke to several former employees of 21st Century Media. They said that “Tom” was hands-on in the company’s operations and would send money whenever it was needed. Everyone was acting under direct instructions from “Tom”.
According to former employees, he was able to persuade people to quit their jobs at established media houses to join the company. He had researched the industry well and senior members of the media knew about him, one former employee told GroundUp.
Recruits of 21st Century Media were led to believe they would be working with an industry-leading company. “Tom” introduced himself to them as an executive of 21st Century Fox and Sky Digital.
A Twitter account for “Tom Motsepe” contains photos of Bester’s face edited onto other people’s bodies. In one picture, his face is edited onto American actor Michael B. Jordan’s body.
An archived copy of tommotsepe.com shows Bester wearing the same outfit he wore on the night of the company launch. The website contains several blog posts on business management.
Bester had invented an extensive backstory for “Tom”. A Board of Directors document for another of his companies, 21st Century Group, includes a profile that describes “Tom” as a “South African investment strategist magnate”, a “progressive and innovative businessman”, and a “thought leader” with “sound knowledge of how to operate a successful global brand”.