Thabo Bester: Paraffin found in Katlego Bereng’s body autopsy reveals

Katlego Bereng's charred body, which was found in cell 35 at the Mangaung Correctional Centre. PHOTO: Twitter/@Solely_Blacks

The autopsy report of Katlego Bereng, the man whose burnt body was found in Thabo Bester’s cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) showed that he had paraffin in his trachea when he was set alight.

The autopsy report conducted in May 2022 and before the body was identified as Katelego’s also showed that he had died due to blunt force trauma to the head and was already dead before the prison caught fire.

Charred body
Bereng’s body, which was found burnt in cell 35 at the MCC is believed to have been used as a decoy in the escape of Bester in May last year.

The South African Police Service (Saps) national spokesperson Athlenda Mathe confirmed on Saturday that the charred body found in Bester’s cell had been identified.

According to the autopsy report which The Citizen has seen, the Chief Post Mortem findings made by the Registrar of Forensic Pathology in the Free State included the “charred body of an adult male with blunt force trauma to his head.”

“A skull fracture and associated intra-cranial haemorrhage, complicated by pressure effects on the brain.

“Extensive, post mortem-burn wounds and charring of the whole body. There were signs of consistent with the use of an accelerant (Paraffin). On dissection of the larynx, a strong smell consistent with an accelerant,” the autopsy revealed.

Demanding answers
Meanwhile, Bereng’s family are demanding answers about what happened to their son and are planning to register cases with the police against the state, Bester and his accomplice, disgraced doctor Nandipha Magudumana.

Bereng’s family has been looking for him since he went missing in April last year.

“We as a family feel that there is a lot that we are not being told about this whole case and it is for this reason that we decided that we should go and open a case with the police against the State, Bester and Dr. Nandipha,” Katlego’s father Batho Mpholo told The Citizen.

Bester escape
Bester escaped from the G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) in Bloemfontein in May 2022 after it was initially believed he had committed suicide by setting himself alight in his cell.

Additonal reporting by Stephen Tau

Faizel Patel/The Citizen