‘Catch me if you can’: Doccie revisits Thabo Bester murder of model

While all eyes are on his glamorous girlfriend, Nandipha Magudumana, the woman who was cold-bloodily murdered by Thabo Bester, Nomfundo Tyhulu – is often forgotten.

The 26-year-old model was stabbed to death in 2011 by her then-partner, who happened to be the notorious “Facebook Rapist”.

The tragic story of Nomfundo has been revisited in the gripping Showmax docuseries Tracking Thabo Bester.



Before becoming the mastermind of multimillion-rand scams, Thabo Bester started off as the “Facebook Rapist,” stealing laptops and cellphones and sexually assaulting multiple women he had met on the social media platform.

In the midst of it, he met car saleswoman Nomfundo Tyhulu in January 2011. According to Sowetan, he had purchased a brand new BMW 1 Series from the woman, who was also an aspiring model.

At the time, Bester had just been released from jail for committing fraud.

After exchanging details, Bester and Nomfundo embarked on a long distance relationship fpr the next few months. In September 2011, Bester invited Nomfundo to Cape Town, with the promise of a professional shoot.

According to GroundUp, the couple stayed in the five-star One &Only, and later the Roman Retreat B&B. In the early hours of 21 September, Bester stabbed Nomfundo Tyhulu in the chest after they had a heated argument about their relationship status.

He would later tie her hands behind her back with a T-shirt and demand the password to her laptop,w hich he stole along with her cellphone.

Leaving her body at the B&B, Bester would go on the run from police. Using multiple aliases, cellphones and Facebook accounts, Thabo Bester undoubtedly put up a good chase.

“Catch me if you can”, he infamsously posted on one account.

On 6 October, Thabo Bester was finally arrested by police in Alberton. The then 25-year-old was handed two life sentences for the rape of two models as well as armed robbery with aggravating circusmtances

In 2012, Bester pled guilty to the murder of Nomfundo Tyhulu and was given another life sentence, which ran concurrently.

He told the court: “I am fully responsible for what I have done. I did not fully understand what I was doing in Cape Town. I have known Nomfundo for four years and I have known her family. I can’t believe that I am responsible for killing her. She believed in me. She supported me when I was accused of rapes in Durban. She came down to support me. She was a friend. I am sorry for what happened.’

According to forensic psychologist Gerard Labuschagne who interviewed Thabo Bester, pleading guilty was a very calculated move on his part.

He told eNCA: “The last thing any rape suspect wants is for the victim to step into a courtroom and tell her story about what happened. He has no control over that”.

The psychologist added: “He can have control if you plead guilty….which is a very soft version of events. It’s not going to go into gory details and will just be admitting to the bare minimum. It’s also a measure of controlling and conning, and not necessarily a sign of remorse”.

In a segment of Tracking Thabo Bester, journalist Ernusta Maralack claimed she had reached out to the family of Nomfundo Tyhulu for an interview. They declined to speak.

Maralack said: “Once they take that hot seat, you are taking them right back to that moment of trauma. They are reliving everything as if it is happening. So, I am not surprised that they declined to be interviewed

“The way she died was brutal”.