Mzansi reacts to Thabo Bester venting about not being allowed wear designer clothes in court



Published Jun 6, 2024


Whenever Thabo Bester and his co-accused girlfriend, Nandipha Magudumana, appear in court, drama follows.

Bester is accused of several crimes, including escaping prison and skipping the country, while Magudumana is an accomplice in his crimes.

The couple appeared in the Free State High Court on June 5 and instead of having a legal representative, Bester took it upon himself to address the court.

In his rant about being treated like the worst inmate in South Africa, Bester told the magistrate that he didn’t like the fact that he could not wear his preferred clothes.

Dressed in a black cardigan, white shirt and a brown coat, Bester said the outfit was new.

“These clothes were bought for the purpose to come to court. I had to spend money to look like this. I have clothes in my bags that have whatever branding. I am not allowed to wear clothes that cost a certain amount of money.

“I was told that I can’t wear clothes that are Louis Vuitton because it gives the wrong impression. So, I am now being forced to follow laws based on impression," he vented in court.

Bester and his girlfriend are renowned for wearing designer clothes. During their first appearance in court, they wore Nike, and the court was okay with it until recently.

Dr Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester dressed in designer wear in court. Picture: Screenshot.

Legally, prisoners are allowed to wear civilian clothes when appearing in court. And we have seen many prisoners wear brands like Uzzi and no one questioned it. And yes, those clothes are not as expensive as LV but they are branded.

Even Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola once said that like other prisoners, Bester was allowed to wear his clothes in court.

“The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) outlines that a sentenced offender appearing in court on further charges must be dressed in their own private clothing which is clean and neat.

“In the event an inmate does not have suitable private clothes, they are to be provided with release clothes,” Lamola had said.

South Africans weighed in on the matter, saying he must be allowed to wear whatever he wanted.

“There's no law that prohibits what brands you can't wear. They must allow him to wear the clothes he wants as long as they are not prison uniforms. It seems those police officers are jealous of him😂😂😂😂😂 they've been working for years, and still they can't afford the brands he wears.

“No man, our government must increase the salaries of our police officers so that they reduce the level of bribes and corruption,” commented @BBK29_.

Others argued that it was more about impression than anything else.

“As his legal representative, I’d advise him not to wear them. Perception is important. If your attire hinders the character or defence, I’d like to bring it forward. I’m going to tell you what to wear. This is actually the best he has looked this trial,” said @Mpho_Roro.

In other reactions, netizens questioned his focus on his wardrobe instead of his freedom. See comments below:

— TheSonOfPetrosOUTNOW! (@Chase_Sithole) June 5, 2024