South Africa: Underworld Crackdown - Several More Cases Headed to Court

(file photo).
18 December 2017

A series of police investigations into underworld activities, which have been developing over months, are to result in court action over the next few months.

Major-General Jeremy Vearey, the head of the Cape Town cluster of police, outlined underworld probes on Monday after controversial businessman Nafiz Modack and six others appeared in court.

Modack appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday along with Colin Booysen - who is the brother of suspected Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome "Donkie" Booysen - Jacques Cronje, Ashley Fields, and Carl Lakay. They face extortion charges.

Two other accused, James de Jager and Mathys Visser, also appeared in the dock on a firearm-related charge in a separate, but related, case.

The cases were postponed to next Wednesday.

Series of investigations

Speaking after the court appearances on Monday, Vearey said: "This is part of a series of investigations by the Cape Town cluster which have been unfolding over the last few months.

"We're systematically bringing the cases to court now. The cases are reaching levels of maturity."

Vearey said several members of the public had complained about violence, which was associated with underworld activities.

It was especially important to nip this in the bud during the festive season, he said, when Cape Town was full of holidaymakers and tourists keen on enjoying themselves.

"We want people to be able to do so without having bullets fly over their shoulders," Vearey said.

He thanked those from certain businesses, who he said had "the guts" to come forward with information.

Underworld violence started surging in Cape Town late last year when a new grouping of men, headed by Modack, started taking control of nightclub security from a more established grouping.

For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld, see News24's showcase Underworld Unmasked

The takeover sparked violence and several shootings.

It also resulted in several recent arrests.

In the Cape Town Regional Court last month during the bail application of one of those arrested, security company director Grant Veroni, details about underworld investigations surfaced.

Veroni, director of Bellville-based company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, trading as The Security Group (TSG), faces two charges relating to the alleged possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

He was initially denied bail, as he also faces a fraud charge in a separate case, set to be heard in Bellville, in which it is alleged that he and a co-accused recruited security guards and applied for firearm licences for them, but never actually employed them.

Veroni was granted bail on Friday after appealing the initial decision in the Western Cape High Court.

'Like tentacles'

Sergeant Edward Edwardes, who is involved in police investigations of the underworld, had testified during Veroni's application that several events playing out in the Western Cape, involving firearms, nightclub security and drugs, were all interlinked.

He had said underworld activities were "like tentacles going everywhere."

Edwardes testified that TSG was linked to, among others, Colin Booysen and Modack.

He had testified that some security industry players were forcing club owners to pay them, and pushing their security services on establishments.

Source: News24

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