I was helpless when Thabo Bester forced me to flee – Magudumana

In a dramatic turn of events at the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Tuesday, Nandipha Magudumana claimed that Thabo Bester forced her to flee the country

Magudumana and 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 schedule five charges of fraud and corruption, violating a corpse, harbouring and concealing an escaped offender, and defeating the ends of justice.

She previously chose to abandon bail to contest the legality of her deportation. However, in July, the high court in Bloemfontein dismissed her application for leave to appeal.

After her initial application was rejected, Magudumana had a change of heart. She made an appearance before the magistrate’s court on Tuesday to apply for bail.

During the proceedings, a noticeable transformation in her demeanour could be observed.

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.

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.”  

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

“I do not intend to live as a fugitive. I will not evade my trial. I will stand by my trial,” said Magudumana.

“I am a well-known medical practitioner and would not think of evading my trial. I can be given bail conditions. I can afford bail to the amount of R10 000.”


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