State slams alleged extortion boss’s 'business transaction’ claim
Senior state prosecutor Esna Erasmus slammed alleged extortion boss Nafiz Modack’s claim that his alleged extortion of The Grand Cafe in Cape Town was a “business transaction”.
A team of seven top Cape Town lawyers made their closing arguments in the bail hearing for Modack‚ Colin Booysen‚ Ashley Fields‚ Jacques Cronje‚ and Carl Lakay in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
They claimed that the state did not have a case against their clients because the state could not prove that the complainant‚ The Grand Cafe Africa‚ was extorted into paying hundreds of thousands of rand for security.
The “Modack group”‚ as they are known‚ are thought to be responsible for trying to take over the security of nightclubs from an existing security extortion group run by Mark Lifman‚ Jerome “Donkie” Booysen‚ and Andre Naude.
This has sparked a turf war for Cape Town’s nightclubs which resulted in several shootings and attacks on nightclubs and has revealed the extent of both Lifman and Modack’s alleged connections to high ranking police officers in the Western Cape and how they have allegedly used police against each other.
Modack and the four accused were arrested on December 15 and have been fighting for bail ever since.
Using an analogy to explain what Modack claims to be a legitimate business transaction‚ his senior advocate Dirk Uys said: “If a larger person in the street walks up to a somewhat smaller and timid person and says to him ‘give me your wallet’ and the person takes out his wallet and gives it to him‚ that’s not robbery.”
Uys told magistrate Joe Magele that Modack was not connected to TSG‚ the security company alleged to be extorting various nightclubs and businessmen across greater Cape Town‚ but that he only provided extra security to them.
He dismissed another charge against his client that on November 4 the group attempted to extort a further R150‚000 from them for “extra security” for a party The Grand Cafe was expected to have that evening.
It is alleged that Colin Booysen‚ an alleged boss of the Sexy Boys gang with connections to the numbers gangs and who was also found guilty of murder by the Cape Town High Court in 2002‚ announced that R90‚000 would be the amount that the Grand Cafe would be paying for the event.
The investigating officer in the case‚ Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear previously testified that The Grand Cafe protested against Modack’s proposed price of R150‚000 saying that they couldn’t afford it‚ but when Booysen stated the price everyone accepted it.
Uys described this “business transaction” using his “robbery analogy” further‚ saying: “If the bigger person came and said give me your wallet and the smaller person said no‚ rather take my wife’s purse‚ that’s not a robbery and that’s not extortion‚ that’s negotiation.”
Erasmus hit back by asking why the group would take “notorious gangster and murder Colin Booysen” along to a business negotiation for extra security if he had nothing to do with security and had no connection to anyone at The Grand Cafe.
Magele is expected to announce his judgment for bail on February 28.
In the meantime Modack and Cronje are expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng on February 19 for their alleged involvement in extorting The Grand strip club in Johannesburg.