The High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 7 November dismissed Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s bail appeal application. This is after Magudumana’s lawyers challenged the outcome of the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court which denied her bail.

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In July this year, the High Court dismissed Magudumana’s application after she sought permission to approach the SCA to make a determination on the legality of her arrest in Tanzania.  

Nandipha Magudumana loses bail appeal bid
Dr Nandipha Magudumana


Acting Judge Melissa Jordaan found that the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court was correct in denying Magudumana bail. She said Magudumana was the main role-player in the escape of her boyfriend Thabo Bester from the Mangaung Correctional Centre.

Judge Jordaan also found that Magudumana’s arrest in another country without her passport being stamped makes her a flight risk. 

Her lawyer Machini Motloung had argued that the Magistrate erred in finding that when she left the country, she knew that she would not return. But Judge Jordaan dismissed this argument. She said that the evidence brought forward by the state was convincing enough to prove that Magudumana is a flight risk.

Magudumana and Bester were arrested in Tanzania and deported back to South Africa earlier this year. 

In September, the court had found her to be a flight risk. It further said that she had demonstrated she had the “necessary means” and “know-how to leave the country” after her audacious escape with her boyfriend Bester. Magudumana has been in custody since her arrest with Bester in Tanzania over the Easter weekend.

The high court ruling also comes two weeks after the Supreme Court of Appeal decided it will hear Magudumana’s appeal against the judgment that found South African courts retain criminal jurisdiction over her.

If Dr Magudumana succeeds in her appeal, it could mean she would escape a criminal trial in South Africa.