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South Africa’s Prison Authority Issues Notice to End Contract with International Security Firm G4S

The company is responsible for running Mangaung Prison from where convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escaped last May by faking his own death and planting a corpse in his cell. The escape only came to light last month – until then it was thought Bester had died in a mysterious blaze in his cell. He and his celebrity girlfriend were arrested last month in Tanzania. G4S has admitted to security breaches at the facility but would not take responsibility for Bester’s embarrassing escape. Its contract to run the prison was set to end in 2026. However, Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola told MPs he was ending the contract early on the advice of lawyers. Bester is now being held in another maximum security prison and will appear in court later this month on new charges related to the escape, including one count of murder. Known as the “Facebook rapist” for using the social networking site to lure his victims, Bester was convicted in 2012 for the rape and murder of his then girlfriend. A year earlier, he was found guilty of raping and robbing two other women.