25 January 2018

South Africa: Cape Town Mafia - Plumbing the Depths of Factions and Fiction

Photo: Willen Van Valkenberg/Flickr
Cape Town (file photo).

The narrative in the bail hearing of five alleged underworld kingpins in the Cape Town Magistrates' Court has, unsurprisingly, begun to sprawl into the realm of possible fiction. On Wednesday, the court heard sensational claims and counterclaims that the entire matter was not only about a turf war between rival protection racket factions, but also competing corrupt interests in the SAPS. The facts, however, are that people have been killed and businesses trashed. The rest of the claims will have to be tested in court later.

The danger of the drawn-out bail hearing of five alleged Cape Town protection racket overlords is that sensational claims and counterclaims of corruption and police complicity have grown so outlandish that it is almost impossible, at this stage, to distill fact from fiction.

Of course all the allegations, including that Cape Town cluster commander Major-General Jeremy Veary (who has spearheaded an anti-gang operation in the province) is either a gang member, in the employ of one of the "original factions" led by Sea Point "businessman" Mark Lifman, or perhaps even the Godfather himself, will eventually have to be tested in court proceedings.

"There are lots of allegations against Veary," said investigating...

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