Home » A Genuinely Good Man: Deceased Cop in Thabo Bester Escape Case Won Several Awards for his Work
Africa Crime Global News News South Africa

A Genuinely Good Man: Deceased Cop in Thabo Bester Escape Case Won Several Awards for his Work

The Free State police officer believed to have died by suicide on Monday, who was one of those investigating the escaping of rapist and murderer Thabo Bester, had received several accolades for his work.

According to Netwerk24, Brigadier Jackson Mkhaulesi killed himself after leaving the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein, which dismissed an urgent application from Bester’s girlfriend and alleged escaping accomplice, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, to have her “deportation” from Tanzania declared unlawful. 

Police are still investigating the circumstances of his death, but colleagues told News24 they were so concerned about his attendance at court for the ruling in Magudumana’s case that they frantically tried to trace his car after he left.

The officer was traced to an area close to a government garage. He was found dead in what is currently being investigated as a suicide. 

News24 has also learnt that the Bester investigation and prosecution teams are “devastated” by the news of the officer’s death, which completely overshadowed their victory in Magudumana’s application.

A colleague described him as a “genuinely good man” and praised him as someone who was “dedicated” to his work.

National police commissioner Fannie Masemola said the officer was a “hardworking, loyal and dedicated detective” who was an expert in crime detection.

Masemola said Mkhaulesi served in the police force for 31 years and his death leaves a void in the service. 

Over the years, he has proven himself to be a highly skilled detective who has a wealth of experience and knowledge in crime detection.

As a detective commander in 2014, Mkhaulesi was recognised among the top-performing officers in the police’s national excellence awards. He was named the “detective employee of the year” in levels 8-12. 

He was commended for being innovative in his leadership by encouraging his team to work over weekends to reduce their workloads in the week.

He also accompanied officers to crime scene tracing operations.

Not even resource shortages hindered him or his team from doing their work because, under his leadership, he borrowed vehicles from units to ensure police response.

He received a PC Special Award for Best Unit Convictions and Sentences. He was previously named the best general detective and overall operational member Level 8-12.

In the 2012/23 financial year, his unit ratings were 76.56%, and he consistently received a four-star “unit”. 

Northern Cape Express reported that his accolades prior to the 2014 award included a best detective commander award in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

He was also voted best employee in 2012.

The publication reported that he was appointed to the Thabong police station in April 2014. 

After his appointment, Mkhaulesi said he subscribed to Batho Pele principles to ensure the best service delivery.

“There is nothing impossible for a willing heart. If you are committed and have a passion for what you are doing, you can move mountains. I strongly believe in embracing Batho Pele principles as it guides us on how to satisfy the people,” he said at the time.

Source : News24