Thabo Bester gifted with new SA ID card in prison

The Department of Home Affairs has gifted notorious convict Thabo Bester a South African identity document (ID) card to end the controversy surrounding his many identities.

Sunday World can reveal that a home affairs official last week visited the Kgosi Mampuru correctional centre in the country’s capital to hand over the ID to Bester, who was arrested in Tanzania together with his lover Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

The move came after DNA testing of Bester’s mother confirmed that he was indeed a native South African citizen who was born at the Chris Hani Baragwanath in Soweto.

Two highly placed sources within home affairs and correctional services told this newspaper that Bester’s brand new SA ID card was delivered to him in person in prison last week.

Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week told parliament that the police had conducted a DNA test on Bester and “that woman” claiming to be his mother and the results came back 99% positive.

Further to this, said Motsoaledi, the department was provided with confirmation by the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital confirming that Bester was delivered at the health facility in 1986.

The minister, however, did not reveal that officials had been to Kgosi Mampuru to visit Bester bearing the good news.

“Yes, they came here to end the doubt over Bester’s citizenship and real identity.

“We now know he is 100% South African,” a deep throat at Kgosi Mampuru told Sunday World.

Motsoaledi told MPs during the tabling of his budget vote this week that Bester was registered through the “late registration of birth” process, which suggests he might have never had a birth certificate or ID card/green book before.

“We told you that Thabo Bester was identified because of the mother that gave birth to him in Chris Hani Baragwanath in 1986.

“The process of late registration of birth is to get documents from hospitals where you were born, from crèches, Sunday schools and all over, and we give that document to a special tribunal at home affairs, which decides on the basis of such a document whether they give you a birth certificate and register your birth late.”

The minister said only extreme cases such as that of Bester demanded a DNA test, which was done by the police, making the job easier for home affairs, which did not need to repeat the process.

Said Motsoaledi: “That lady who is Bester’s mother, the DNA matches 99%. Let this matter come to rest.”

Bester’s identify has been a subject of great controversy since news of his escape from the Mangaung prison last year.

It then emerged that the man had been operating outside under different aliases, including one of Tom Motsepe, claiming relations to billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe.

Bester also claimed to be a certain TK Nkoana.

As Motsepe, he once hoodwinked the who’s who of the business and showbiz world in Gauteng into singing him happy birthday songs during a bogus business seminar while he appeared on screen claiming to be in New York City when in fact he was in Joburg.

He used these many identities to conceal his real name while he scammed many people posing as a legitimate businessman.

Bester’s identity was under scrutiny again this week at the Bloemfontein magistrates court where he appeared virtually from Kgosi Mampuru.

This after Bester’s legal representative advocate Tsoeunyane Pela threw a spanner in the works pleading with the court to “satisfy itself” that the man appearing before it was indeed the one who ought to be appearing.

Pela said there was no irrefutable evidence before any forum that the so-called Thabo Bester is indeed Thabo Bester, a manoeuvre that was quickly laughed off by state prosecutor pointing at the screening beaming the feed from Kgosi Mampuru: “There is a person in the accused box that happens to be Thabo Bester.”

Department of home affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza did not respond to detailed questions sent to him on Friday.

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