The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court has postponed the bail applications of Dr Nandipha Magudumana and several co-accused, including former G4S prison wardens, until next week. The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court delayed the hearing to May 11 and 12 after the State added two more accused involved in the escape of convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester. The South African Police Department believes the new accused, Tieho Makhotsa and Anastassja Jansen, to have worked in the control room of the Mangaung Correctional Centre. The six accused appeared in court precisely a year after Bester’s escape alongside Integritron CCTV technician Tebogo James Lipholo, Senohe Matsoara, and Buty Masemola, as per IOL.
Prosecutor Sello Matlhoko was ready to proceed with most of the bail applications. However, the State still needed to verify information regarding Makhotsa and Jansen. The defence lawyers were prepared to start, but some of the accused, including Magudumana, had terminated the services of their legal representatives, and new representatives needed to take over. The prosecution suggested the bail hearings occur on May 11 and 12, as he was unavailable on May 10.
However, the defence lawyers objected to only two days allocated for the bail applications, as there were many accused, and each needed to present their case. They also feared the court could further delay the bail proceedings if the police made more arrests and added more accused. However, the magistrate assured the court that even if the police added more charges, the six accused’s bail hearing would go ahead next week.
Thabo Bester and Zolile Sekeleni, who received R10 000 bail earlier, are expected back in court on May 16. Although the charge sheet lists 16 charges against all eight accused arrested, only some relate to the particular accused.
Magudumana appeared in court for the first time without a face mask and sported a new hairdo. She waved and blew kisses to her family members as she entered the dock of the packed courtroom alongside her co-accused. The defence lawyers feared the bail hearings could last up to five days. While Motlholo said he could not estimate how long the hearings would take, he said there could be a possibility that they would have to make plans for further dates.