Bester and Magudumana Resort to Legal Challenge in Bid to Halt Book Publication in South Africa

NB Publishers, GroundUp News, and several booksellers received a letter of demand on Friday afternoon from law firm Loubser and Loubser Inc. on behalf of convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester and the alleged accomplice in his escape Nandipha Magudumana.

In the letter, Bester’s attorneys request a digital copy of a new book by GroundUp reporters Marecia Damons and Daniel Steyn, titled The Thabo Bester Story: The Facebook Rapist, the Celebrity Doctor and the Escape from Cell 35, by close of business on Tuesday, 10 October.

If NB Publishers fails to provide a digital copy, Bester and Magudumana will launch an urgent court application to interdict the publication of the book, the letter says.

Bester, a convicted rapist, and murderer, escaped from prison in May 2022 after allegedly faking his own death. Nandipha Magudumana faces several charges relating to Bester’s escape. Both are currently in custody – Bester at Kgosi Mampuru Prison and Magudumana at Kroonstad prison.

According to the letter, neither “our client nor Dr. Magudumana have granted the right, permission or authority to any party to write and/or publish the book. We also place on record that there were no personal interviews held with our client or Dr. Magudumana which raises imminent concerns regarding the accuracy and correctness of the version which stands to be published soon.”

According to Loubser and Loubser Inc., Bester wants to “avoid being prosecuted in and by the media before the matter is concluded in the normal cause of the legal processes.”

Asked for comment by GroundUp, NB Publishers said it “fundamentally disagrees with the startling claim that authors are required to obtain prior permission from the subject of a book on current affairs and maintain that all the standard protocols were followed in the compilation of the book”.

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