Court expected to rule on Magudumana’s bail application

The Bloemfontein magistrate’s court is expected to deliver its ruling on the bail application of infamous physician Nandipha Magudumana on Monday.

Magudumana applied for bail last week after having failed to win a high stakes duel against her deportation from the Republic of Tanzania.

 In a dramatic turn of events during the proceedings last Tuesday, she claimed that her lover, convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester, forced her to flee the country.

Despite the evident joy she displayed when she was reunited with Bester in court early in August, her countenance had now shifted.

She appeared distraught and was seen shedding tears during the court session on Tuesday.

Presenting her affidavit, Magudumana’s lawyer explained that she had been compelled by Bester to flee the country.

The contents of her affidavit revealed that she resisted Bester’s demands, but he used force to coerce her into a vehicle, eventually departing for Tanzania.

“I was instructed and commanded by accused number five to enter into the vehicle … I refused and wanted an explanation, but he forced me into the vehicle,” reads the affidavit.

“I succumbed to the pressure. I was helpless, defenceless with no one to report to. I complied with his instruction and was taken out of the country.”

However the state, which is opposing the bail application, argued that Magudumana is a flight risk and cannot be trusted.

In a replying affidavit, inspecting officer Lieutenant-Colonel Tieho Flyman disputed her claim that she was kidnapped by Bester, asserting that Magudumana willingly fetched him after his escape from Mangaung Correctional Centre and they stayed together.

Flyman highlighted their joint activities and questioned why she had not reported the alleged kidnapping earlier, making an emphasis on the couple’s seemingly affectionate behaviour in court over a week ago.

Presenting evidence of Magudumana’s involvement in the escape, Flyman argued that she was not coerced into fleeing the country.

“Looking at how the applicant is involved, and the role played in the escape, there is no evidence that she was at any stage forced or threatened,” he said.

In her bail application, Magudumana cites her responsibilities as a mother, stating that she will not be a flight risk.

In her bid to persuade the magistrate that she poses no risk of fleeing if granted bail, she said her only passport was confiscated when she was deported.

She also stressed her firm commitment not to escape, expressing her willingness to attend court proceedings and adhere to any stipulated bail terms.

Nonetheless, Flyman countered that she has reasons to evade trial, given multiple pending fraud cases and her history of fleeing with Bester.

He accused her of dishonesty and creating false court documents.

Magudumana’s legal representative Frans Dlamini made a compelling argument centred around the classification of the offence she is accused of committing.

Dlamini contended that the state’s case did not meet the criteria for a schedule five offence, which typically encompasses serious crimes such as treason, murder, rape, and drug-related offences.

Instead, he emphasized that the charges against Magudumana fell under a schedule one offence, which carries less severe implications.

Magudumana and her lover Thabo Bester were apprehended in the Republic of Tanzania on April 7 and were subsequently deported to South Africa on April 13.

She is currently facing charges of fraud and corruption, violating a corpse, harbouring and concealing an escaped offender, and defeating the ends of justice.

In addition to these charges, Magudumana is facing at least six criminal other cases of fraud totaling more than R20-million.

In a case reported at the Sinoville police station in Pretoria, Magudumana is facing accusations of being involved in a scam worth R15-million.

Additionally, she is alleged to have engaged in dishonest activities involving R500 000 in Sandton, R1.2-million in Randburg, R5.1-million in Benoni, R150 000 in Durban north, and another claim of fraud amounting to R900 000 at the Randburg police station.

Dlamini questioned the evidence presented by the state, stating that the allegations in the charge sheet lacked the necessary support.

He queried why the state was bringing forward allegations that lacked evidentiary backing and challenged the absence of crucial details in the affidavit.

Dlamini strongly contested the notion that the state possessed overwhelming evidence against Magudumana, and criticised the charges as an attempt to complicate her chances of securing bail.

He also called into question the credibility of the evidence, asserting that it was unsubstantiated and poorly presented.

“Where is the overwhelming case? The state was actually trying to decorate charges in order to make it difficult for the applicant to be granted bail.

“I submit that this is not a schedule five [offence], it’s a schedule one offence and therefore the onus of proof is not on the applicant, but it is on the state,” Dlamini said.


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