The Married Female Doctor Fell in Love With a Prisoner, Then His Body Burned Black in a Prison Cell

The twisted case of Thabo Bester

Dr Nandipha Magudumana — image from her Facebook

Warning: This case feels like something straight from a Hollywood movie. The twists and turns are wild.

The prison guards noticed smoke coming out of Thabo’s cell.

The guards rushed inside. There was a mattress that lay on top of Thabo’s body. Thabo was unrecognizable. He had been burned to a crisp.

Thabo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thabo’s wife, Nandipha, showed up soon after and claimed his body.

Nandipha Was A Doctor

Dr Nandipha Magudumana had a lot going for her.

She was smart, attractive, and a famous doctor. Her career was at its peak. She was also a wife to a fellow doctor and a mother of two daughters. She led a very lavish lifestyle. But Nandipha had to work very hard to get to where she was.

Nandipha had grown up in a very small town in Port Edward, South Africa. She was six years old when she told her father she wanted to become a doctor.

Nandipha didn’t let her background limit her. She fulfilled her dream. So many women looked up to her as an inspiration.

Nandipha Reached Out to an Old Friend

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Nandipha began writing to an old flame who was in prison around 2016–2017. She also began visiting.

Then Nandipha started falling in love with the prisoner. Before long, she abandoned her husband for her new lover, Thabo Bester.

Thabo was a well-known rapist who lured women through Facebook with promises of jobs. He was known as the Facebook rapist.

Thabo himself was born as a result of rape in 1986 to his then sixteen-year-old mother. Thabo grew into a troublesome child. He was arrested for burglary in his teens. Then he became a scammer.

Thabo created a fake modeling agency. He reached out to young women and offered them jobs.

Thabo Raped Many Women

Thabo met up with the women, robbed them, and sometimes forced himself on them.

Thabo Bester got into a relationship with Nomfundo Tiyhulu. Thabo and Nomfundo were at a B&B in Sunset Beach, Capetown. Thabo got violent towards Nomfundo. Then he murdered her.

He was arrested and charged with Nomfundo’s rape and murder. Thabo was also charged with other rape charges in relation to other victims. He was sentenced to life behind bars plus an additional seventy-five years.

Thabo began dating Nandipha five years down the line after she reached out to him.

In the early morning hours of May 3rd, 2022, the prison guards noticed weird-smelling smoke coming out of the cell that Thabo was placed in. The authorities walked inside the cell and discovered that it was on fire.

Thabo Was Burned Until His Body Turned Black

Thabo’s body lay under a mattress, burned beyond recognition until it turned black.

Thabo was pronounced dead.

It was believed that Thabo had murdered himself.

The prisoners had witnessed Thabo being dragged out of the general cell earlier on a late night. Thabo screamed and kicked throughout the process. He was placed in solitary confinement, where his body was later found burned.

The authorities announced Thabo’s death to the public. Then, a woman showed up, claiming to be Thabo’s wife. She threw a fit and demanded for Thabo’s body so she could give him a proper burial.

The authorities gave Thabo’s body to the woman. Then, she took it to a mortuary in Soweto and planned on getting it cremated.

Thabo’s mother showed up. She asked for her son’s body only to be informed that his wife had already taken it.

Thabo’s mother informed the authorities that her son didn’t have a wife.

It turned out that the woman who claimed to be the wife was Nandipha, who was still legally married to her doctor husband.

The authorities managed to bring back Thabo’s body before it was cremated.

The Investigators Carried Out DNA Tests

Investigators collected Thabo’s mother’s DNA sample so they could match it to the body.

An autopsy was also carried out on Thabo’s body. It was discovered that the body was already dead before it was burned. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

The DNA results showed that the dead body wasn’t a match for Thabo’s mother’s DNA. Also, the burned body was only four feet six inches, while Thabo was well over five feet.

The charred remains belonged to Katlego Bereng Mpholo, who had gone missing in April. Thabo had pulled a prison break from one of the most secure prisons in South Africa.

Investigators discovered that someone had tampered with the security footage inside the prison. Thabo’s prison escape was an inside job. And more strange discoveries followed.

Thabo Scammed People From Prison

It turned out that Thabo had been running a lucrative scam business from inside the prison.

He held meetings through Zoom and Skype calls dressed in suits. Thabo even employed people at his company. His employees stated that he was a hands-on boss.

What was more strange was that the police kept the details regarding Thabo’s escape confidential.

The story of Thabo’s escape didn’t get any media coverage. Most people in South Africa didn’t know he was still alive and had escaped. That was until Thabo was spotted in the background of a picture that somebody took of Nandipha a while back in 2022. The two were shopping in Sandton City.

Thabo had slightly changed his appearance. He had gained a little weight, grew long hair, and started wearing glasses.

Thabo’s Pictures Went Viral

Thabo Bester and Dr. Nandipha — image from (Twitter(Fugazi)Instagram(Dr Nandipha))

The picture went viral online, especially on Twitter.

People started posting more different pictures of Thabo whenever they spotted him roaming free.

Thabo and Nandipha lived in a beautiful luxurious mansion in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, after his escape. The couple drove luxurious cars. They had started a new scam, a million-dollar construction company.

Nandipha posed as Thabo’s wife during meetings.

The couple went around convincing different companies to give them millions to do construction jobs for them.

The media outlets went wild. Many people criticized Nandipha for abandoning her career, her husband, and her mansion to be with a fugitive. It was also discovered that she had her two daughters living in the same house with Thabo at one point.

The authorities issued an arrest warrant for Thabo and Nandipha. The two had already fled South Africa to Tanzania.

The South African police advised the Tanzanian police to be on the lookout for Thabo and Nandipha.

The Aftermath

On April 8th, 2023, Thabo was arrested by the Tanzanian police.

Nandipha and another person were also arrested along with him. Thabo and Nandipha were deported back to South Africa.

More than ten people were charged in relation to Thabo’s prison escape. Among these people were prison officials and Nandipha’s father.

Nandipha’s father was also arrested for murdering the person who was found dead in Thabo’s prison cell, among other charges.

Nandipha’s father allegedly had connections with the prison warden.

It’s alleged that Thabo smuggled the body of Katlego inside the prison with help from Nandipha, Nandipha’s father, and the prison warden. Then Thabo’s death was staged whilst he escaped.

Nandipha was charged with aiding Thabo’s escape, murder, tampering with a body, and fraud.

The trials for all the accused are still ongoing.

Sources:,, Christina Randall