Cameras were tampered with on the night Thabo Bester escaped, Integritron tells MPs

A company sub-contracted to G4S to maintain security cameras at the Mangaung prison has come under fire from MPs after cameras were disconnected for hours during Facebook rapist Thabo Bester’s planned escaped from the facility.

Officials from Integritron were grilled about how the cameras and recordings stopped working between 7.38pm and 4.11am on the night Bester escaped.

The technician who was on duty on the day has since been arrested by the police after he apparently handed himself in, MPs were.

He left Integritron in August to take up a new job.

The said technician had also failed a polygraph test conducted by the company and he was later suspended.

Parliamentarians said from the evidence they have gleaned from the scene, when they went to Mangaung prison last week, they found that the cameras had been tampered with, in line with Bester’s escape plan.

Legal adviser for Integritron, Dylan Williams, told members of the National Assembly’s justice and correctional services committee that a person was seen walking into the control room shortly before the system stopped working at 7.38pm.

“It may have been possible he tampered with the DVR (digital video recorder) cables. What we can say is that the video footage will show an individual walks into the control room.

“Soon after that the system ceases to display any footage,” said Williams.

He agreed with lawmakers that it was strange that the system had suddenly stopped working when it was functioning the day before, after technicians had checked it.

Director of Integritron, Litichia Pedro, said they sent four technicians to fix the system after the incident.

But on the day in question, the system had stopped working.

“On the DVR, it does the recording. The recording was available. Immediately after he entered the control room, the recording was offline and the recording was back online the next morning after 4.11am,” said Pedro.

She said they have now recommended to prison officials that the system must notify them when it stops functioning.


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