‘As a mother to daughters, I’d never let a rapist walk free,’ says woman accused of aiding Thabo Bester escape

29 May 2023 - 17:09
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Nastassja Jansen at her bail application in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court on May 12 2023. She was arrested for allegedly helping convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escape from prison in Mangaung.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi Nastassja Jansen at her bail application in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court on May 12 2023. She was arrested for allegedly helping convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escape from prison in Mangaung.

Former G4S employee Nastassja Jansen, accused of aiding Thabo Bester to escape from prison last year, has broken her silence and pleaded her innocence.

This after she was granted R10,000 bail by the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Monday.

“I’m innocent. There’s no way that I would let a convicted rapist out of prison when I have daughters. My daughters believe me, they know my character. There’s no way I would even think of doing that,” she told SABC News.

Her co-accused, Senohe Matsoara, Teboho Lipholo, Buti Masukela and Tieho Frans Makhotsa, were denied bail by magistrate Mohlolo Khabisi.

Jansen is accused of opening the prison doors for Bester on the night of the escape at the Mangaung correctional services centre.

She said she only learned of the incident in August last year. 

“It was a big shock. I was told by one of the investigator that they did a DNA test and it shows it wasn’t Thabo Bester [who allegedly died in the cells].

“I don’t know anything, I didn’t even see an inmate running out. It’s really disappointing that I’ve been drawn into this thing, my family too, it’s painful," she said. 

“I believe I’ve been framed ... The people I work with — they know my character. I’m very strict when it comes to my work. It hurts a lot,” said Jansen.

Khabisi said the state's case against her was “porous” and her personal circumstances gave him enough reason to grant her bail.

“The state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the interest of justice do not permit her release on bail. She is admitted to bail.”

Jansen indicated she could afford R5,000 bail, but she was granted R10,000 bail after a request from the state.

She said when she got dismissed from work in December, her employer was looking for someone to blame.

“Somebody had to take the fall, unfortunately it was me. According to them I gave a false statement. I was called in and I was threatened that if I don’t give them what they need they will dismiss me.

“My case with G4S is ongoing,” said Jansen.

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