Facebook rapist begs for mercy
Thabo Bester, the "Facebook rapist" accused of murdering model Nomfundo Tyhulu, yesterday pleaded for leniency in the Cape Town High Court.
Bester, 23, confessed on Monday to robbing and killing Tyhulu at a Cape Town bed-and-breakfast in September. He has already been sentenced to 50 years for robbing and raping two models in KwaZulu-Natal last year.
Bester told the court in mitigation of sentence that Tyhulu was his friend and had stood by him when he was accused of rape. He said he regretted killing her and that he was now taking anti-depressants.
"I feel that I have made mistakes and I am fully responsible for my decision. But I feel that I wasn't fully aware of what I was doing," Bester said.
"Nomfundo was my friend. I knew her family. I don't believe I am responsible for her murder."
Bester used Facebook to contact women, claiming he could help them secure contracts with international modelling agents. He would then rob and rape them.
Bester said he had three children, all by different women, and that he ran an events company, which earned him up to R15000 a month.
His lawyer, Peter Burgers, urged the court to consider Bester's age and his admission of guilt.
"He has spared this court and the taxpayer the expenses of a protracted trial," Burgers said.
Prosecutor Samantha Raphael urged the court to impose a life sentence.
"The court still doesn't know why he killed someone whom he considered a friend. The victim was a young woman as well, 23 years of age, a sole breadwinner."
In his confession, Bester said he met Tyhulu in January last year when she worked at a BMW distributorship in Sandton, Johannesburg. He said she sold him a car and that a relationship developed between them. He said they flew from Durban to Cape Town together on September 19.
Bester said he had an argument with Tyhulu about one his former girlfriends and that he woke up and stabbed her in the chest.
He took her laptop computer and cellphone, told the bed-and-breakfast owner that Tyhulu was asleep and flew back to Durban.