Johannesburg High Court Rules in Favor of Showmax: “Tracking Thabo Bester” Documentary to Air


In a landmark decision, the Johannesburg High Court has granted Showmax permission to broadcast the highly-anticipated “Tracking Thabo Bester” documentary. The ruling comes amidst a legal battle led by Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana, seeking to halt the airing of the controversial four-part series.

The documentary delves into the gripping narrative of Thabo Bester, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 for murder and a string of heinous rapes. Bester’s modus operandi involved luring victims under false pretenses of international modeling opportunities through social media platforms like Facebook.

Thabo Bester and Magudumana, co-accused in an ongoing court case surrounding Bester’s dramatic 2022 prison escape, had petitioned the court to block the documentary’s release. They argued that airing the documentary could potentially prejudice their case, as some of the documentary’s participants are key witnesses.

Showmax’s Defense: Upholding Constitutional Rights

In defense of its stance, Showmax contended that yielding to the demands of the co-accused would infringe upon the constitutional rights of South Africans to access information freely. Additionally, Showmax emphasized that the documentary merely presents information already in the public domain.

Presiding over the case, Judge Wilson delivered a decisive verdict, dismissing Bester and Magundana’s application. “There is no basis that I can recognise upon which [Bester & Magundana]’s relief can be granted hence, the application is dismissed,” ruled Judge Wilson.

Bester’s escape from prison in 2022, orchestrated with the assistance of his girlfriend Nandipha Magudumana, captured nationwide attention. Initially believed to have perished in a cell fire, Bester was later apprehended in Tanzania in April 2023 following an extensive manhunt. Magudumana, alleged to have played a role in fabricating Bester’s death and sourcing a body to aid his escape, has remained in custody since her arrest.

With the legal hurdles cleared, Showmax is set to provide audiences with a gripping account of Thabo Bester’s tumultuous journey, shedding light on a saga that has gripped the nation’s attention.

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