Back to the drawing board for Magudumana’s legal team

BLOEMFONTEIN - It's back to the drawing board for Nandipha Magudumana’s legal team.

Magudumana remains behind bars after the Bloemfontein magistrate's court denied her bail bid.

She’s been labeled a flight risk who could facilitate another escape.

READ: Magudumana's fight for freedom an uphill battle - experts

Magudumana and Thabo Bester were deported from Tanzania and brought back to South Africa in April.

It came after a manhunt was launched for the pair after it was revealed that Bester didn’t die in a prison fire, but had been living in a lavish mansion in Hyde park with Magudumana.  

Since her return from Tanzania, Magudumana has been fighting for her freedom.

READ: Magudumana has good chance of successful bail appeal: expert

She claims she was abducted by state officials, and has attempted to have her arrest and deportation set aside. Her high court applications were however dismissed.

Five months later she finally decided to apply for bail.

This time, she claimed that Bester kidnapped her and forced her to leave the country.

The state rubbished this and insists Magudumana willingly fled the country with her lover. 

In her judgment, Magistrate Estelle de Lange didn’t mince her words.

"Her passport was confiscated by the authorities so she doesn’t have a passport in her position, but the evidence indicate that she really doesn’t need a passport of her own to be able to leave the borders of this country and to travel across borders.

READ: Nandipha Magudumana bail application dismissed

"This passport that was confiscated had no indication that she crossed any borders legally between March 2023 and April 2023 when she was arrested, but she crossed a few borders with accused number 5," De Lange said.

"It’s a good indication that she has the necessary means, the know-how, to leave the country."

So, what are Magudumana’s options now?

Legal experts say she can take her fight to the Constitutional Court.

READ: NPA welcomes denial of Magudumana's bail application

Her legal team has indicated that it's still studying the judgment and hasn't ruled out the possibility of filing for leave to appeal.

* eNCA's Silindelo Masikane reports.

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