The curious case of Zanda Moyo…Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana’s forgotten Zimbabwean connection

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
The curious case of Zanda Moyo…Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana’s  forgotten Zimbabwean connection

The Sunday News

Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter

CLAD in a brown suit jacket, black jersey, and white shirt, Thabo Bester held the audience captive as he spoke at the Pretoria High Court last Wednesday.

It was one of the few times that Bester had an opportunity to address the court since he was arrested in Tanzania in April last year, as he and his sweetheart, disgraced medical practitioner, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, beat a hasty retreat to Tanzania with law enforcement authorities hot on their trail.

Dr Nandipha Magudumane

A man of considerable charisma, Bester’s speech did not disappoint, as he turned what was meant to be a mundane pre-trial hearing into an exhibition of his oratory skills.

In an emotional speech, Bester spoke of how he had been mistreated by the South African prison system, left “to rot” in his cell on his own without human companionship. Known for his snazzy dressing style, Bester also complained that he was no longer allowed to wear some of his favourite clothing brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton, whenever he appeared in court.

For added flourish, Bester said he felt that due to the “oppression” he was suffering at the hands of South Africa’s criminal justice system, the authorities should just slap him with a death sentence and put a wrap on all proceedings.

“I request that if the public and the prosecution are so convinced that I am the waste of these people’s lives that the public signs a petition and I be given a death sentence and I will immediately agree to it so we end this matter,” he said.

As he spoke, cameras at the Pretoria High Court swivelled to Magudumana who was either fighting back tears or, if some social media naysayers are to be believed, was trying to fake them.

Zanda Moyo and Thabo Bester

Also present in the courtroom, without anybody seemingly taking notice, was 31-year-old Zimbabwean national Zanda Moyo. As the Thabo Bester case has taken twists and turns, Moyo has almost become the forgotten man. Of the 10 other people that were initially charged alongside Magudumana and Bester, Moyo now remains as the last man standing with them in the dock.

This has led some to question why the Zimbabwean has been singled out for treatment as harsh as Mzansi’s Bonnie and Clyde couple. Moyo’s charge sheet certainly does not cast him in a good light.

According to authorities, it was Moyo who collected a body under false pretences at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein, claiming that it belonged to his brother Themba Ndlovu, a taxi driver born in Zimbabwe.

That body, which was alleged to be used as a decoy in Bester’s escape plan, was later found in Bester’s jail cell in May last year, charred.

An autopsy report revealed that the deceased, who was later identified through DNA testing, was Katlego Bereng and he had died from blunt force injury to the head. But just who is Zanda Moyo?

Zanda Moyo

According to eNCA’s Silindelo Masikane, Moyo initially worked at Magudumana’s aesthetics’ clinic, before he moved in with the disgraced medical professional and Bester in their luxury mansion.

“It is alleged he met Magudumana after she left her marital home. It is also alleged that Moyo worked for Magudumana at her aesthetic clinic as a nail technician. She then hired him to be her driver and provided a roof over his head by letting him live in the R12m mansion that she shared with Bester,” Masikane said.

According to Calvin Rafadi, a forensic investigator who worked on the case, while Moyo initially carried out tasks for the couple, he was later allegedly thrown out of their house when he started demanding larger sums of money, as he believed that he was privy to some of their darkest secrets.

“Most of the time, he was driving her to prison to see Bester and he also drove her on most of her trips to Cape Town, as they claimed to have properties on that side. Some of the trips shown on some of the records showed that they were driving a lot to Botswana. It came to a point where now he was demanding a lot of money to keep quiet because he knew that the real TM Motsepe (Bester’s alias) was Thabo Bester. There came a point where they had to chuck him out of the house,” Rafadi said.

While the question of Moyo’s alleged criminality is still before the courts, it has been at least established that he was resident in South Africa lawfully. “From the information that we got from the investigating officers, it emerged that he had relevant papers to be in South Africa,” said Phaladi Shuping of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Agency (NPA).

“So, he is not here illegally but his travels make an interesting part of the investigation. So, we have to wait for everything regarding the investigation to be finalised.”

Meanwhile, an old Bulawayo associate of Moyo who spoke to Sunday News anonymously said while they suspected that he might be dabbling into a criminal lifestyle when he started living lavishly, they had never thought it would be to the scale of the Thabo Bester case.

“I knew him here in Bulawayo when he was also hustling like everyone else and trying to make a living. I never thought that he would be involved with criminal activity at this scale. His life seemed to have changed over the last few years and he seemed to be living quite lavishly. He was certainly different from the Zanda we knew when he was still struggling and trying to make ends meet.

When we started seeing his face in newspapers and the TV things started clicking into place. It all started to make sense because some of us thought he was now into armed robbery in Mzansi. It was a shock because this is a crime that was beyond our imagination,” said the source.

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