Nafiz Modack planned to wipe out rival businessman Mark Lifman and alleged 26s gang boss Jerome “Donkie” Booysen – as well as his own “partner” Colin Booysen – to run the Cape Town nightclub security business himself.
In sensational testimony in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, a police investigator also claimed Major-General Jeremy Vearey, the head of the Cape Town cluster of police, was working with the notorious 26s, 27s and 28s gangs.
Vearey was part of a plot to murder lawyer Noorudien Hassen, the court heard.
Hassen, who was gunned down outside his Crawford home in November 2016, counted among his underworld clients alleged 28s gang leader Ralph Stanfield.
In a day of bombshell revelations in court, investigating officer Charl Kinnear continued his testimony against Modack, Colin Booysen, Jacques Cronjé, Ashley Fields and Carl Lakay, who face extortion and intimidation charges.
The five are applying for bail following their arrests on 15 December.
Kinnear detailed recorded conversations between Modack and a “Serbian”, which Kinnear claimed to be the source of the recently released book, The President’s Keepers, by journalist Jacques Pauw.
Kinnear testified: “Modack said Vearey was working for the 26s gang under Jerome Booysen, for the 27s gang under the leader known only as ‘Red’, and for the 28s gang under Ralph Stanfield. He also claims Vearey arranged the hit on lawyer Noorudien Hassen with Jerome Booysen and Mark Lifman.
“In his recorded conversation with the Serbian, Modack said Vearey, Lifman and Jerome Booysen were framing him for incidents occurring in the underworld.”
Kinnear said Modack had recruited Igor Russol from the Ukraine to help him take control of the nightclub scene.
Russol, known as “the muscle”, had previously worked for murdered kingpin Cyril Beeka.
Kinnear testified: “Modack said he wanted to take over all the clubs in town and needed Russol to do it. He was going to first make peace with Jerome Booysen and Mark Lifman, let the dust settle and have them both killed. Then after he owned everything with his partner Colin Booysen, he would kill Colin as well.”
At this, Colin, dressed in a tracksuit, hardly flinched as he sat in the dock next to Modack, wearing jeans, a track top and Louis Vuitton shoes.
Earlier this week, Kinnear told the court that Modack and Booysen had extorted over R420 000 from the Grand Africa Café & Beach restaurant, near the Waterfront, which led to the charges against the five accused.
Kinnear testified that Modack said he had cop protection and named three top police officials – the Western Cape’s head of crime intelligence, Major-General Mzwandile Tiyo, and provincial head of detectives, Major-General Patrick Mbotho, a provincial head of detectives.
The investigating officer also referred to a meeting Modack had had at the One&Only Hotel at the Waterfront with Northern Cape police commissioner Risimati Shivuri.
On Wednesday, Kinnear dropped another bombshell when he named lawyer Pete Mihalik as “facilitator” and “mediator” between Modack and rich Jewish business owners in Cape Town.
“Russol came to South Africa and lived in the Plattekloof home owned by Modack. He was brought here to do a hostile takeover with Modack and Booysen, revealed as Modack’s partner,” said Kinnear.
“Pete Mihalik, acting as a facilitator in his chambers, brought in the business owners, making them believe he had no link with Modack or Booysen, and negotiated R100 000 payments per month for protection.
“This was done with Booysen, Modack and another person in the group, Mark Louw. The money was then paid into Louw’s account and he transferred that money in Modack’s account.”
In May 2017, Russol had left the employ of Modack, and started working for Lifman, who previously ran a nightclub security company.
The court heard that on 27 December, there was an attempt on Russol’s life when a man entered the Iconic Lounge in Long Street, where he is the manager, and tried to shoot him.
Russol and two security guards at the club, however, managed to wrestle the gun from him.
Kinnear continued: “They managed to find out that a female had smuggled the gun into the club and handed it to the male. SMSes from the man’s cellphone showed instructions from Colin Booysen. The SMS said he must ‘kill the Russian in the club’. The man, woman, the cellphone and the handgun were handed over to the police for investigation.”
Kinnear also referred to a video in which Colin Booysen and suspected Nice Time Kids gang boss Maruwaan “Dinky” Desai, were filmed having a physical fight inside a nightclub.
Kinnear said Desai was murdered shortly after this fight in June last year.
Desai and his friend, Shaheem Mohamed, had been parked at the Caltex garage at the Howard Centre, in Forest Drive, Pinelands.
“He was shot and killed in an assassination shortly after his fight with Booysen,” Kinnear said.
The officer said he wanted to show the court exactly what kind of people the accused were and how they dealt with things that did not work in their favour.
“If released on bail, they will commit further crime and interfere with the State witnesses in this matter. They have already threatened the complainants in this matter and make use of others to threaten witnesses,” Kinnear added.
The bail application for the five will continue on 11 January, and the accused remain in custody.