The Man Known As The ‘Facebook Rapist” Faked His Death And Is Now On The Run
An African man who was convicted of rape was reported dead, but now police and prison officials are saying he faked his death and believe he’s on the run.
According to CBS News, prison officials believed Thabo Bester, known as a “Facebook rapist,” was found dead in May 2022 after setting himself on fire at a prison in Bloemfontein.
“He was discovered at about 03:35 morning, where his cell was burnt, he was found on the floor,” a Department of Correctional Services spokesperson said, the BBC reported, citing CBS News.
Police now say the DNA does not match Bester’s DNA. The charred remains belonged to someone else, CBS News reported.
“At this point our priority is to find this fugitive of justice and establish exactly how he faked his death,” police spokeswoman Athlenda Mathe said.
An autopsy confirmed that the body found in Bester’s cell died because of “blunt force trauma to the head” before being set on fire.
In South Africa, women’s rights organizations have consistently accused the government of being lackadaisical when it comes to quelling violence against women, according to CBS News. When it comes to sexual violence against women, South Africa has one of the highest rates in the world.
Bester built relationships on Facebook before raping and robbing them. CBS reports that at least one woman was murdered by Bester.
He was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for robbery, murder, and rape, according to reports.
“The unfolding of this story has been like a movie and sent shivers down everyone’s spines…I can imagine what it did to the victims” Bafana Khumalo, co-director of NGO Sonke Gender Justice, told AFP.
The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services released a statement, asking for information on Bester.
“No stone will be left unturned in getting to the bottom of Thabo Bester’s escape, and there will be serious consequences for any party involved,” the statement said, according to CBS News.