- Published on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 18:24
- Written by Stephanie Venter
Thabo Bester, better know as the "Facebook rapist", will stand trial at Wynberg Magistrate's Court and is sought to have had ties with UCT in instances of fraud
Known as the “Facebook rapist” in most newspapers, convicted rapist and robber Thabo Bester will stand trial in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court, with a provisional trial date of June 30th set, it was decided in court last week.
Bester – who is alleged to be the notorious con man who taunted police for months on social networking site Facebook as they attempted to arrest him – is thought to have ties to UCT regarding two incidents of fraud in recent years.
Anton Taylor, SRC Entertainment and Fundraising Co-ordinator in 2009, was approached during the course of his SRC year by “Thomas Kelly”, who was later revealed to also be known as Thabo Bester. Bester showed Taylor papers bearing the SABC logo and said he was scouting talent for a student TV show.
According to Taylor, “He [Bester] said that he needed attractive, well-spoken black girls as presenters and that they were going to be paid a great deal.” Taylor showed Bester around UCT, and lent him money when Bester said he had lost his debit card.
A Google search later revealed that Tom Kelly / Thabo Bester was wanted in Johannesburg in conn-ection with to false modelling contracts and TV shows.
Taylor contacted UCT’s Campus Protection Services (CPS), and an undercover operation to apprehend him was staged in front of Leo Marquard Hall on Lower Campus. Bester “went quietly” but “there were no charges we could really press, other than being on campus without permission,” said Taylor. Reports of “tricks” existed in the north of South Africa, but these were not official charges at the time.
“I gave the police the fake SABC papers he had given me but they seemed a bit disinterested,” said Taylor in a statement to VARSITY.
In a separate incident two years later, two UCT students were robbed of their cell phones and laptops and left with exorbitant bills by a man known as Kally, who claimed to be searching for presenters for an MTV Base TV show.
The girls were contacted via an intercom announcement in UCT’s Baxter Residence that anyone interested in becoming an MTV Base presenter should meet Kally.
Both incidences were reported in VARSITY, but because each occurred two years apart, no connections were made until recently.
The artist’s rendering provided at the time for the con-man Kally case is remarkably similar to the drawing released for the Facebook Rapist, creating the first noticeable link between the events.
Bester is charged with the murder of a 26-year-old model in Cape Town, and has already been convicted of two counts of rape and robbery previously. Police expedited his original case by only pursuing the most serious of the charges against Bester; he was originally wanted on counts of fraud as well.
Crime or fraud at UCT should be reported to CPS immediately: 021-650 2222/3.