9 February 2018

South Africa: Two Critical Crime Intelligence Questions Remain Unanswered in the Modack Matter

Two critical questions - including whether suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack may be a registered informant and about his possible links to the Western Cape's head of crime intelligence - have cropped up in his extortion case.

However, police do not appear to have the answers.

A statement by Lieutenant Colonel Peter Janse Viljoen of the Western Cape Hawks, which was read out during Modack's bail application in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday and which is dated January 31, 2018, referred to two key and apparently unanswered factors in the matter.

'Unknown aspects'

Janse Viljoen's statement said: "It's unknown if Modack is a registered informant. Informants usually have one police handler."

Another section of it said detailed phone billing showed that after Modack was arrested in Worcester at the end of November last year, he had immediately called Major General Mzwandile Tiyo.

Tiyo is the head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape.

"At this stage it's unknown what role [the] Major General played if any, but it's strange that Modack phoned the General as soon as he is arrested," Janse Viljoen's statement said.

Several claims have been made against police officers during Modack's bail application.

Modack is accused of extortion and intimidation alongside Carl Lakay, Ashley Fields, Colin Booysen - suspected Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome Booysen's brother, and Jacques Cronje.

They face charges relating to the nightclub security industry in that they allegedly took over security operations at clubs and restaurants, forcing owners to pay them.

The group was arrested on December 15 and shortly afterward lodged an application to be released on bail.

On Wednesday, when Tiyo's name was mentioned during the application, it was not the first time it cropped up in the matter.

In January during the bail application, Charl Kinnear, a police colonel who is investigating fights in Cape Town clubs, testified 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.

Vearey is the head of the Cape Town cluster of police stations. The meeting happened on May 5, 2017.

"Nafiz Modack states he was dealing with high-ranking police officials and, should there ever be a problem, Tiyo and Mbotho can sort it out," Kinnear had testified.

The Mbotho he was referring to is Major-General Patrick Mbotho, who was a provincial head of detectives, but who News24 understands recently moved from the position.

Last month during the bail application further allegations were made about police.

Bruce Hendricks, the lawyer for Colin Booysen, claimed that controversial businessman Mark Lifman was in control of police, especially officers who are driving the extortion case against Modack.

Lifman was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly pointing a firearm during an incident in March last year. Modack had lodged a complaint against Lifman with police in January this year.

The bail application is expected to continue on Monday.


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