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G4S prison contract will not be renewed after Thabo Bester escape

thabo bester escaped from G4S guarded prison

After “Facebook Rapist”, Thabo Bester daring breakout from Mangaung Prison in the style of a Hollywood thriller, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has indicated that it will not be renewing its contract with G4S to operate the facility.

According to IOL, this information was provided by Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Ramola in his response to EFF MP Yoliswa Yako (after the Thabo Bester escape) in the House of Parliament.

Thabo Bester escape

The nation learned that Bester, who had been said to have perished in a mysterious fire in the prison, had actually escaped, which is what prompted Yako’s questions.

Under the terms of a contract with the DCS, G4S participated as a member of a consortium that offered to manage Mangaung Prison (where Thabo Bester was jailed) for the next 25 years.

It was anticipated that the government’s contract with the multinational private security company would remain in effect until the 30th of June in the year 2026.

Lamola also said the department would not renew its contract with South African Custodial Services, which ran the Kutama Sinthumile Correctional Centre in Makhado, Limpopo. Limpopo hosts this facility.

The date of termination for this contract is the 15th of February in 2027.

“The department has begun the process of taking them over once the contracts come to an end,” he said. “The process will continue once the contracts have expired.”

In the meantime, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has criticized the government for handing over its duties to private organizations.

Richard Mamabolo, a spokesperson for Popcru, stated that the union was of the “firm view” that this escape, as well as multiple other misconducts and abuses reported over the years, were primarily a consequence of the DCS having outsourced the functions of the state’s security to foreign-owned companies, whose only preoccupation was profit maximization as opposed to the core mandate of rehabilitating inmates. This was stated by Mamabolo in a statement.

After it became clear that the person who was believed to be Thabo Bester inside the prison may have been killed while attempting the audacious escape, the police announced that a case of murder had been opened.

READ MORE: Mother & uncle sentenced to life for the rape & ritual murder of a toddler

An autopsy determined that the inmate, whose identity has been withheld, passed away as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head.

Bester, who had been serving a life sentence for murder and rape prior to his escape from prison almost a year ago, is still wanted by the police. Bester was convicted of both crimes.


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