Dr Nandipha Magudumana was drowning in tears and sorrow on Tuesday morning as she appeared before the court for her formal bail application.
Magudumana sat quietly on the dock, her head bowed, as her lawyer described her version of events that led to her detention in Tanzania in April 2023.
Magudumana, who has been detained in the Bizzah Makhete correctional facility since her deportation from Tanzania on 13 April 2023, struggled to keep her emotions in check when her counsel, Advocate Frans Dlamini, presented her bail plea before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.
Magudumana revealed intimate details about her background for the first time since the beginning of the Thabo Bester prison break saga, informing the court of her educational accomplishments and confirming she is, in fact, the estranged wife of Mkhuseli Oscar Magudumana, with whom she shares two children.
Magudumana, who, on two occasions, failed to declare her arrest in Tanzania an unlawful extradition, provided the court greater context “to how [she] departed South Africa.”
“On or about the 17th of March 2023, I was in the company of Accused 5 (Thabo Bester). I was instructed and commanded by Accused 5 to get into a vehicle and leave the premises to a destination unknown to me at the time,” Magudumana claimed.
Despite her alleged rejection, Bester allegedly forced her into the vehicle and threatened her, however, no other details were provided.
“I was defenseless, helpless, and with no one to report to at that time. I complied with his instructions and was taken out of the country against my will,” Magudumana alleged.
The disgraced doctor insisted that she was never in control of the situation, from the time she arrived in Arusha, Tanzania, and assumed multiple disguises, to her arrest on April 11, 2023.
“I was scared of the threats made by Accused 5. I submit that I did not voluntarily depart from the Republic of South Africa as demonstrated above. In any event, I had no reason to leave the Republic of South Africa,” she added.
Magudumana, like her lover, maintained in her bail plea that her arrest in Tanzania was illegal and that her civil challenge was still pending.
Furthermore, the disgraced doctor invoked her right to silence on the crimes she faces, which include assisting Bester in his prison break and violating a corpse, and informed the court she would not provide specifics about her activities in Tanzania under any circumstances.
If Magudumana is granted bail, she has identified a medical practitioner acquaintance as her host at a property in Sandton, Johannesburg. The doctor also asked the court to limit her bail to R10,000.
The court was in recess at the time this article was published.