Questions Arise Over Authenticity of Viral Picture Featuring Thabo Bester and Jacob ZumaQuestions Arise Over Authenticity of Viral Picture Featuring Thabo Bester and Jacob Zuma (Image Credit: : The Citizen)

Mystery Surrounding Viral Picture of Thabo Bester and Jacob Zuma Deepens

The authenticity of a widely circulated picture featuring Thabo Bester alongside former South African president Jacob Zuma has resurfaced, leaving South Africans intrigued and perplexed.

Nearly a year after the photograph gained viral attention on social media, questions continue to linger regarding its origin and legitimacy.

The image first emerged shortly after Thabo Bester’s arrest in April 2023.

Also Read: Bogus Lobola and Desperate Cover-Ups: Inside the Scandalous Relationship of Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana

Investigating the Origins: Tracing the Path of the Controversial Picture

According to The South African, in the docuseries “Tracking Thabo Bester” on Showmax, attempts are made to trace the origins of the picture. The series delves into whether Bester, infamously known as the “Facebook Rapist,” had any political affiliations or if the image was yet another attempt to deceive the public.

Mystery Surrounding Viral Picture of Thabo Bester and Jacob Zuma Deepens
Mystery Surrounding Viral Picture of Thabo Bester and Jacob Zuma Deepens (Image Credit: X)

Bester, along with his co-accused Nandipha Magudumana and seven others, faces charges related to aiding his escape from prison in 2022, fraud, corruption, and numerous other violations.

In the final episode of “Tracking Thabo Bester,” Nathi Sekeleni, brother of Nandipha, shared his thoughts on the viral image. In a lighthearted manner, he suggested that perhaps Jacob Zuma had been scammed by Thabo Bester, implying that Zuma might have been an unwitting victim.

Journalist Daniel Steyn from GroundUp added to the discussion, suggesting that Bester may have managed to infiltrate South Africa’s affluent circles, potentially even meeting Jacob Zuma to pitch a business investment opportunity.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation’s Denial: Labeling the Image as a “Malicious Attempt

Shortly after the image circulated on social media, the Jacob Zuma Foundation distanced itself from Bester, with spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi claiming that the image was a “malicious attempt to tarnish the former president.”

Manyi labelled the image as “fake” and accused the person behind it of trying to portray Zuma as being associated with questionable individuals.

This is not the first time that Bester has deceived the public with manipulated imagery. In 2018, he appeared via live stream at the launch of his fictitious company, 21st Century Media, using the alias Tom Motsepe. Bester falsely claimed to be based in New York and related to South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. However, he was, in fact, speaking from his prison cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein.

Bester also operated an X (formerly Twitter) account under his alias, where he advertised his services. Social media investigators discovered that Bester had photoshopped his face onto the body of Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan in pictures posted on the X account.

Thabo Bester’s History of Deception: Previous Instances of Manipulated Imagery and High-Profile Associations

Apart from Jacob Zuma, other high-profile individuals, including Shauwn Mkhize (known as MaMkhize), have distanced themselves from any association with Thabo Bester. Investigative reporter Karyn Maughn and Mkhize both denied speculation linking them to the convicted fraudster.

Celebrities such as Simz Ngema, Tumisho Masha, Kabelo Mabalane, and Happy Simelane are believed to have crossed paths with Bester. Actress Pearl Thusi also had a chilling encounter with the Facebook Rapist, surviving an attack by him in 2012. In a handwritten letter from jail in 2013, Bester referred to his former friends, mentioning Bonang Matheba. However, Bonang clarified that she had never met Bester.

By lisa

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