One of the three G4S prison guards who was fired for assisting “Facebook Rapist” Thabo Bester in his daring escape from Mangaung Correctional Centre boasted on social media about a brand-new car before and after the audacious jailbreak.
Senohe Matsoara, who was dismissed by the multinational security company in September, was a security supervisor believed to have been in cahoots with Bester and aided him in his elaborate escape on May 3 last year.
Matsoara posted a picture on Facebook in January 2022, of a certificate from the Volkswagen Menlyn dealership congratulating “Mr Senohe Ishmael Matsoara on your beautiful Volkswage T-Roc 2.0”. Also in January 2022, he posted pictures of himself in front of a new car. He again posted pics of a brand-new T-Roc in September, when he was dismissed.
Three independent sources informed TimesLIVE Investigations that Matsoara was not scheduled to be on duty the night of Bester’s escape, yet he reported for the shift.
When contacted Matsoara for comment, he denied being on duty that night but a logbook entry, seen by journalist Oliver Meth, shows he did report for work. Follow-up calls were met with him telling the reporter in Setswana to f*** off before he ended the call.
Two independent sources, an inmate who was in solitary confinement unit and a warder at the prison who was on duty at the time of Bester's escape, said Senohe was fired in September.
A prison warder, who was on duty when Bester escaped, said there were many questions hanging over Matsoara’s alleged relationship with Bester.
“This guy was not meant to have been on duty that night. Bester had applied to be transferred to the safety section of the prison — which consists of single cells — but his application was declined because he did not seem to be mentally stable and this sparked a fear that he could kill himself. However, a few weeks before the escape happened, Matsoara moved him to the safety section,” said the warder.
“Thabo and him were strangely close and one could see that they did favours for each other, and we thought this was just one of those favours.”
Department of correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said a report on the ongoing investigation “will assist everyone in terms of details”, yet he wouldn't say when this report can be expected.
A source with inside information said one of the issues raised in the ongoing investigation by DCS, is that protocol was not followed when the fire broke out in Bester’s cell. He said security was not on site and as a result, Matsoara was dismissed.
Judicial inspectorate for correctional services spokesperson Emerantia Cupido said they were “deeply troubled by the evidence reported so far, and we are working diligently to ensure that we fulfil our mandate as the inspectorate”.
Cupido added that once the investigation is completed, JICS will provide a report to the police national commissioner, the minister of justice and correctional services and the justice portfolio committee as part of its mandatory reporting function.