Last year, Thabo Bester faked his own death by setting fire to his cell and then managed to escape from prison.
The burned body that was initially believed to be Bester’s when it was discovered in cell 35 of the Mangaung Correctional Center last year has now been identified by police.
A body was discovered there; at first, it was thought to be Bester’s, but it has since been determined to be Katlego Bereng’s.
Spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe said the body was identified through a direct DNA match with his biological mother.
“The family has been notified by the investigating officer. No further comment will be provided. As difficult as this news is, the SAPS is pleased to bring closure to the family,” said Mathe.
Speaking to SABC on Sunday, his mother Monica Matsie said they looked for her son for two months before deciding to open a missing person’s case with the police on May 17 2022.
She said they approached hospitals and government mortuaries to try to find her son.
But police approached her two weeks ago to conduct DNA tests to try to link it with an unidentified body. The results did not match, she said.
Last week on Tuesday, an officer returned to take another DNA sample from her, she said.
Mr. Mpholo asserts that he does not accept the police’s version of what happened to his son, who was 31 years old when he vanished in April 2022.
Other than to express their satisfaction at providing the family with closure, the South African police declined to comment on Mr. Mpholo’s statement.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed that the body had been positively identified and the family notified.
“As difficult as this news is, the SAPS is pleased to bring closure to the family,” Mathe added.