South African prosecutors have dropped a homicide cost towards Zolile Sekeleni, the daddy of the girlfriend of high-profile convicted assassin Thabo Bester, who’s accused of escaping from a South African prison after faking his personal demise in a hearth, officers advised CNN Monday.
Sekeleni’s daughter, Nandipha Magudumana, a distinguished medical physician and persona in South Africa was arrested on April 7 whereas on the run in Tanzania with Bester.
Dubbed “The Facebook rapist” in South Africa, Bester was serving a life sentence for the homicide and rape of a mannequin in 2012.
Bester, 35, allegedly faked his demise by putting the charred stays of one other man in his jail cell, officers mentioned.
The couple had been arrested with a Mozambican nationwide by Tanzanian authorities final week within the border city of Arusha after fleeing South Africa and was subsequently deported to South Africa.
Magudumana’s father Sekeleni, 65, was arrested on April 8 alongside a former jail warden and a former safety digicam technician, with the trio accused of being accomplices in Bester’s escape, in line with the police and prosecutors.
He had initially been charged with “defeating the ends of justice, fraud, homicide, and arson,” however that has now been dropped, a spokesperson for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Phaladi Shuping, advised CNN.
A homicide investigation by authorities had earlier concluded that the burned physique present in Bester’s cell had died earlier than the hearth started.
An post-mortem report additionally discovered that the deceased had died because of blunt drive trauma to the pinnacle.
Shuping mentioned the homicide cost was dropped in gentle of recent proof, however added Sekeleni, a former educator, would face different costs.
“The state will now not be continuing with a cost of homicide towards Zolile Sekeleni as a result of new proof got here forth, which made us take this resolution. He will nonetheless face costs of helping an inmate to flee, defeating the ends of justice and fraud,” NPA spokesperson Shuping mentioned.
He added that “Sekeleni was launched on bail of R10,000 ($550) because of compelling circumstances that had been thought-about by the prosecution, referring to his well being.”
Sekeleni will make one other look in courtroom on May 16, whereas a bail listening to for his daughter Magudumana in addition to different accused will probably be held early subsequent month.
CNN has reached out to his and Magudumana’s lawyer for remark.
Magudumana was charged with homicide and fraud, together with aiding and abetting Bester’s escape.
According to police, he faces new costs of escaping from lawful custody, defeating the ends of justice, violation of a dead physique and fraud.