Book review: The Thabo Bester Story

The Thabo Bester Story:

The Facebook Rapist, the Celebrity Doctor and the Escape from Cell 35

Marecia Damons and Daniel Steyn

Tafelberg, NB Publishers

Review: Carmen Jacobs

As the Thabo Bester story unfolded and more appalling details emerged, I was engrossed and had to be up to speed with every new piece of information.

When I started reading the book the State had just dropped its charges against three of the accused in the Thabo Bester escape case.

As reported on IOL online, charges against Natassja Jansen, Moeketsi Ramolula and Thabang Mier were withdrawn in the Bloemfontein’s Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday October 11.

This was just one of the latest shocking twists. Plot twists and melodramatic court antics are part of what we have come to expect from this story. I expected nothing less from the book.

Unfortunately, as someone who diligently followed the story, I was familiar with most of the book’s contents. Few facts were new to me.

This is why the book will be a good source of information for those who haven’t closely followed the story.

The timeline is an invaluable inclusion in the book, and so is the detailed, blow-by-blow account of the inquiry held by the parliamentary portfolio committee.

Equally efficient was the reporting on the court appearances of the accused, including the comprehensive reports on

Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s extradition hearing, the role of G4S security company, a breakdown on Bester’s companies, detailed accounts of the night of the alleged escape, as well as details shared about the childhood and lives of both

Dr Magudumana and Bester before their paths crossed.

I think, besides the book being a good source of information for readers to gain more insight into what transpired, it still is a good read – well-written and direct.

If you’ve religiously followed the story, I wouldn’t advise you to buy the book unless you plan to keep it as a memento of one of the most famous, high-profile news stories in our country. If not, most of the read will likely feel like déjà vu.