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Monday, 04 March 2024 17:40

Showmax unveils documentary to spotlight convict who faked his own death.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Streaming services Showmax has just dropped the trailer for Tracking Thabo Bester, a true-crime documentary about Thabo Bester.

Tracking Thabo Bester will drop first ep in 11 days time and profile the story of SA's most-searched person on Google in 2023.

Bester was in the Mangaung Correctional Centre on murder and rape charges and was believed to have burned to death in his cell in 2022. The first episode of Tracking follows GroundUp journalists Marecia Damons and Daniel Steyn as they investigate an anonymous tip off that the burnt body may not have been Bester's, and they went on to win the prestigious Nat Nakasa Award for breaking the story and its plot twists. 

Subsequent episodes look at why Bester was called the Facebook rapist and in jail originally, how a celebrity doctor fell for a convicted criminal and left her children behind to go on the run with him to Tanzania and who really died in Cell 35. 

The show is being directed by Nikki Comninos, who made her Showmax Original debut as a director on December's Convict Conman about a South African running a media business from inside jail.

"We tend to discuss Thabo Bester like it's an isolated case but it's clearly not," said Comninos.

"Bester has been depicted as some kind of anomaly for being able to run a business while incarcerated. This raises questions about what is happening with the South African prison system."

The trial of Bester, co-conspirator Nandipha Magudumana and their co-accused was supposed to begin in the Free State High Court  but has been postponed to 5 June 2024.

Watch a trailer here: