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Thusi link to killer

MODEL and TV personality Pearl Thusi took convicted "Facebook rapist" and killer Thabo Bester to church and introduced him to celebrities including actor Tumisho Masha and pastor-cum-muso Kabelo Mabalane.

Sunday World can today exclusively reveal that Bester's murder weapon, a sharp pocket knife, was found and retrieved from Thusi's Randburg home.

A retired police officer, who had a copy of an affidavit made by Thusi to the police, showed Sunday World excerpts from it.

In the statement, Thusi says she met Bester in June 2011 and almost became one of his victims.

The statement, dated July 3 2012, reads: "I drove slowly and began trying to negotiate with him. I asked him not to take my laptop because all my daughter's photos were there. He surprisingly agreed. He promised not to hurt me and told me he had already taken my phones - a BlackBerry and an iPhone.

"I offered him help that would be better than stealing. I asked him why he didn't build a better future. I offered him counselling at my church. I don't remember exactly when he gave me a knife or threw it to the back of my car."

Thusi further states that she and Bester met a pastor with whom she'd worked, then drove past her home to collect her sister.

"I also collected a Bible and wrote a message in it and gave it to him. I drove to. Sandton; at Kabelo Mabalane's house.

"Thabo/Thomas spoke to Tumisho Masha, whom he strangely already knew. Tumisho looked uncomfortable."

Thusi says that was the last time she saw him, but they spoke on the phone once or twice and texted each other.

"I wondered how much of what he had told me was true, especially after Tumisho Masha had warned me that he was a scam artist. I heeded his warning, but it was sad. I later learnt from social networks and papers about rapes and murders and that he'd been locked up.

"I have never contacted him since or been contacted by him; according to my knowledge.

"To my knowledge I still have the knife in my home and I will look for it and hand it over."

That's the chilling tale the beauty told police about her encounter with Bester.

He was arrested in 2011 in connection with 30 charges including rape, kidnapping and murder.

He was convicted for the murder of 23-year-old model Nomfundo Tyhulu, several counts of rape and robbery, and sentenced to life plus 30 years

The killer used Facebook to lure wannabe models to meet him. He would then abduct and rape them.

Bester had more than a dozen aliases, including Tom Bester, Thabo Magagule and Thomas Magagula.

Thusi told Sunday World yesterday: "Basically I am not interested in entertaining you. I am saying, have a lovely day. Bye."

Mabalane and Masha could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

  • mzwandile@sundayworld.co.za