A video of Dr Nandipha Magudumana, a celebrity aesthetics doctor, walking outside the court without handcuffs has sparked controversy and accusations of “pretty privilege.”
While social media users raised concerns about the perceived leniency shown to Dr Nandipha, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has defended their actions, stating that they followed proper procedures.
Dr Nandipha, along with her convicted criminal boyfriend Thabo Bester and seven others, appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court, facing various charges including assisting a convicted criminal to escape from custody, tampering with a corpse, fraud, and defeating the ends of justice.
The accused are scheduled to appear in court again on August 8th, pending further investigation.
Controversial Video and Social Media Backlash:
A video clip showing Dr Nandipha walking beside a police vehicle without handcuffs went viral, leading to criticism on social media.
Some users accused her of benefiting from “pretty privilege,” alleging that she was allowed to appear virtually in court, received sympathy due to her association with Thabo Bester, portrayed herself as a victim of domestic abuse, and had access to beauty and hair salons while in custody.
In response to the video and public backlash, SAPS issued a statement defending their actions.
Brigadier Athlenda Mathe explained that Dr Nandipha, given her suspect profile, is always escorted by highly trained and skilled members during court appearances.
The video shows her being closely escorted by a Tactical Response Team (TRT) female officer.
Mathe further clarified that individuals in custody, including Dr Nandipha, are not required to be handcuffed while in the back of a patrol van to prevent injuries during transportation.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 gatwe the canopy is safe pic.twitter.com/qLUyVUbOlC
— Abuti (@LHoutkop) June 22, 2023
SAPS vans are equipped with secure canopies, which are locked with padlocks, ensuring the safety of high-risk individuals being transported.
The viral video of Dr Nandipha walking without handcuffs has raised questions and prompted accusations of preferential treatment. However, SAPS maintains that their procedures were followed, emphasizing the safety measures in place during transportation.
The public debate surrounding “pretty privilege” and the treatment of high-profile individuals in legal proceedings continues to garner attention.