South Africa: Factors Which Allegedly Fueled 'Underworld' Murders Detailed in Court

(file photo).

A spat which started out over demands for VIP seating at a nightclub and an altercation between two men led to two killings linked to underworld activities.

This and revelations about alleged irregularities about the way certain police officers treated controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, and others with ties to him, emerged in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Modack, as well as Colin Booysen - who is the brother of suspected Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome "Donkie" Booysen - Jacques Cronje, Ashley Fields, and Carl Lakay, face extortion charges relating to nightclub security.

They are applying for bail following their arrests on December 15.

On Tuesday Charl Kinnear, a police colonel who is investigating fights in Cape Town clubs, testified during the bail applications that the December 3 murder of a bouncer at Cubana, an establishment in Green Point, was linked to Modack.

Kinnear said Modack and several others had gone to Cubana.

Modack, he said, "insisted" on VIP seating inside. There was none available and Modack was told to sit in the outside seating area.

An argument then broke out.

"The situation became volatile. Two bouncers... were stabbed... After this altercation, (Modack) and the men with him got into their vehicles and left the premises," Kinnear said.

One of the two stabbed bouncers died after making his way into Cubana.

Murder suspect 'relocated by Modack'

Kinnear said the suspected stabber "has been relocated to Johannesburg by Nafiz Modack".

He referred to another murder - that of an employee shot dead in Hotel 303 in November 2016.

Kinnear said Hotel 303, which is situated in Sea Point, belonged to controversial businessman Mark Lifman.

He said there was "an altercation" between Colin Booysen and Lifman.

Colin Booysen had then, according to Kinnear, organised with Fields to "take care of the night manager". The night manager was meant to be attacked and possibly killed.

"Ashley Fields then arranged for the hit and the people was recruited by him (sic)," Kinnear said.

He referred to members of a gang - the Gifteds, as having carried out the murder.

Kinnear also focused on another murder - that of attorney Noorudien Hassan who was killed in Lansdowne on the evening of November 7, 2016.

Ukraine link

After Hassan's murder, Modack had contacted Igor Russol who was in the Ukraine.

Russol was previously based in South Africa and at one stage worked for slain bouncer kingpin Cyril Beeka.

Kinnear said Modack asked Russol to return to South Africa and work for him, doing the same he had done for Beeka.

Modack has been heading a group of men intent on taking over nightclub security from a more established grouping.

Russol, who was provided a plane ticket by Modack, returned to South Africa and stayed in Modack's Plattekloof home.

Kinnear testified about the arrest of Modack and 12 other men in Worcester on November 28 last year. This had to do with the collection of an alleged R22m debt.

He said the Worcester police's acting station commander, a Colonel Smith, had taken control of the matter.

Modack had faced business robbery and assault charges but he and his co-accused in the case had been released on a warning to appear in court.

Their firearms, allegedly used in carrying out the crimes, had not been confiscated.

'Irregular and illegal'

"Irregular and illegal actions had to take place to release the accused," Kinnear said.

He said Smith had told him the police's legal department in Cape Town had ordered the release of the suspects.

Kinnear viewed the whole Worcester investigation as suspicious. He had shared this view with Western Cape Major-Generals Jeremy Vearey, Andre Lincoln and Peter Jacobs. The trio, who have all taken on police management in court for various reasons including being suddenly transferred, were in the court last week when the bail applications started.

The charges against Modack and his co-accused in the Worcester matter were eventually withdrawn.

Kinnear said he believed the complainant dropped the charges as he feared for his life, given the connections Modack and his co-accused seemed to have with police.

Earlier on Tuesday it emerged in court that there was a recording of Modack in a meeting with Major-General Jeremy Vearey and Russell Christopher, a former State Security Agency official who trained with Vearey in the ANC's intelligence structures prior to 1994.

The meeting happened on May 5, 2017.

'The muscle' and 'the gangster'

Kinnear testified on Tuesday that when asked during the meeting how Cronje fit into matters, Modack described him as "the muscle".

When asked the same about Colin Booysen, he had replied: "Colin Booysen is not a businessman, he's just a gangster. He opens his mouth, people are scared."

During the meeting Modack was recorded as saying he deals with high-ranking police and "Tiyo and Mbotho" could help him sort out problems.

He was referring to Major-General Mzwandile Tiyo, the Western Cape's head of crime intelligence, and Major-General Patrick Mbotho, a provincial head of detectives.

Testifying about the "influence" which Modack appeared to have, Kinnear also referred to a meeting Modack had at the One and Only hotel with Northern Cape police commissioner Risimati Shivuri. News24 witnessed this meeting.

The bail application is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Source: News24

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