Thabo BesterThabo Bester makes death penalty appeal in court-Image Source@X

Convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester, appearing in the Free State High Court on Wednesday, made a dramatic appeal for the death penalty to be imposed on him while urging the court to release his co-accused. This comes after his latest legal team recused themselves, allegedly due to unpaid fees, leaving Bester to represent himself. The court has granted him seven days to secure new legal representation.

Bester’s Emotional Plea

In a heartfelt address to the court, Bester argued for the release of his co-accused, asserting their innocence. He went on to address that no lawyer wants to represent him with the fear of being demonized by the public which infringes on his rights to representation.

“I feel it’s unfair for these people who are sitting here as my so-called co-accused to be in court when I know very well that they have nothing to do with this,” he stated. “Your Honour, I say this as a broken man and I say this wholeheartedly, it tears me apart to see these people in this court, knowing well that they are suffering for something they know nothing about.”

Thabo Bester
Thabo Bester-Image Source@

Referencing abolished legislation, Bester requested the death penalty through a public petition.

“Immediately I will agree to it and we can end this matter. I came here with 80 cars, I woke up at 2am. I’ve been having chains on my feet. My feet are ice. I cannot feel my toes at this point. This is not the way I want to proceed, your Honour. If it means that this court can accept the petition and the public can sign it, then we can put all this to rest. I am at peace. I know what I’ve done and what I have not done,” he told the court.

Accusations and Complaints

Bester claimed that the entire situation would not have occurred if it weren’t for “political watchdogs.” He also criticized the Department of Correctional Services, alleging that his consultations with his legal team were recorded, impacting his mental health. He noted that he had been isolated for 15 months, only interacting with the guard outside his cell.

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Moreover, Bester expressed frustration with the media’s portrayal of him and their coverage of his case. He also complained about being dictated on what to wear to court to avoid attracting attention, specifically being advised against wearing name-brand clothing.

Watch the video of Thabo Bester’s appeal below:

Details of the Case

Bester, along with co-accused Nandipha Magudumana, Zolile Sekeleni, Xando Moyo, Teboho Lipholo, Buti Masukela, Teiho Makhotsa, Senohe Matsoara, and James Lipholo, faces charges related to his escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre. The group is scheduled to return to court on July 24.

By Letho

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