Bester, Magudumana to ask court to stop documentary from being aired

Published Mar 15, 2024


Last-minute applications by Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana to stop Showmax from airing a four-part documentary, “Tracking Thabo Bester”, will be heard in the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, on Friday.

Showmax is scheduled to premiere the documentary on Friday.

The court application comes in response to requests by Magudumana and Bester, who want to prevent the documentary from being flighted on the grounds that it violates their rights.

MultiChoice said Showmax briefed legal counsel and said it would vigorously oppose the applications.

Its statement says: “The allegations against Mr Bester and Dr Magudumana are incredibly serious, and Showmax strongly believes that it is essential for viewers to have the opportunity to watch the documentary and form their own informed opinions. Showmax is of the view that the attempt to stop Showmax from doing so is without any legal merit and breaches the constitutional rights of the public.”

Showmax recently released a trailer for the documentary, following the revelation that the convicted murderer and rapist did not burn to death in cell 35 of Mangaung Correctional Centre after all, but was seen to be shopping at Woolworths in Sandton City.

Speaking about the documentary and the state of the South African prison system, director Nikki Comninos, who made her Showmax Original debut, expressed concerns.

“We tend to discuss Thabo Bester like it’s an isolated case, but it’s clearly not,” says Comninos.

“Bester has been depicted as some kind of anomaly for being able to run a business while incarcerated, but so did Dawie de Villiers - also a convicted rapist who lured his victims online - at a completely different prison. This raises questions about what is happening with the South African prison system.”

The first episode of this documentary follows GroundUp journalists Marecia Damons and Daniel Steyn as they look into an anonymous tip-off about a burnt body at Mangaung Correctional Centre - that it was someone other than Thabo Bester’s, as purported.

Interviewees include inmates and guards at Mangaung Correctional Centre; the family of Katlego Bereng Mpholo, whose body was discovered in cell 35; Nkosinathi Sekeleni, Nandipha's elder brother; and Dr Gérard Labuschagne, a former SAPS head profiler who conducted an interview with Bester following his arrest in 2012 for rape and murder.

The documentary also features responses to the story from the media and social media.

The Star

[email protected]