Alleged Cape Town extortionists granted bail
For the first time since December‚ five alleged Cape Town extortionists sat down to a dinner which did not consist of Pollsmoor Prison gruel.
But despite their means‚ the dinner certainly wasn’t at any of Cape Town’s world class restaurants.
In granting the five bail‚ Magistrate Joe Magela said in the Cape Town Magistrates Court that the men would not be allowed near any clubs or restaurants in the Cape Town CBD‚ Sea Point or Camps Bay. They also have to visit designated police stations three times a week.
On Wednesday Nafiz Modack‚ Colin Booysen – brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome “Donkie” Booysen - Ashley Fields‚ Jacques Cronje received R10,000 bail each while a fifth accused‚ Carl Lakay‚ was released on R5,000 bail.
The group was arrested on December 15 and charged for allegedly extorting the Grand Africa Cafe in Greenpoint for hundreds of thousands of rands.
They have been behind bars since then as police‚ who cite fear and intimidation of club owners as a factor for a lack of extortion complaints‚ tried to strengthen their case by bringing forward fresh affidavits.
Since 2015 the group has been at war with a rival group headed by alleged Mafioso Mark Lifman‚ Donkie‚ and bouncer boss Jacques Cronje for control over who controls nightclubs’ security.
Hawks anti-corruption task team Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Viljoen said in an affidavit read out in court that the security syndicates controlled the clubs so that they could sell drugs‚ peddle illegal liquor after hours‚ and to enable petty criminals to operate inside the premises they controlled.
Booysen‚ Colin‚ and Modack could be seen exchanging long glances with Major General Jeremy Vearey while their lawyers finalised the bail details in court.
The bail hearing has taken its toll in terms of public perception of both the police and Cape Town’s legal fraternity as accusations were launched across the court room.
The investigating officer in the case‚ Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear‚ claimed that at least three senior police officers in the Western Cape were believed to be under Modack’s sphere of influence.
He also singled out Modack’s defence Advocate Pete Mihalik as being part of the group’s extortion operation and in a counter-attack defence‚ Advocate Rooshdien Rudolph‚ claimed that Kinnear had close ties to the Booysen family.
State prosecutor Advocate Esna Erasmus dismissed both allegations as unnecessary‚ irrelevant and without basis.
Magela‚ a senior magistrate who was contracted to hear matters over the festive season‚ also dismissed allegations that Lifman had compelled Vearey and Kinnear to arrest the group on the charges.
Similarly‚ he also dismissed allegations that Modack had various senior police officers under his influence adding that the state could not prove that the accused men would evade their trial or intimidate witnesses.
But Kinnear’s testimony that Major-General Mzwandile Tiyo and Major-General Patrick Mbotho were under Modack’s influence revealed another fight between two rivalling police factions in the Western Cape.
In 2016 Major-General Peter Jacobs had been replaced by Mbotho as head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape‚ while Vearey was replaced by Tiyo as deputy provincial commissioner for detective services‚ which would later become the subject of a labour dispute in the Cape Town High Court.
TimesLIVE has established through interviews conducted with various club owners in January that the extortion of clubs by both Lifman’s group and Modack’s group continued unabated during the course of the bail hearing.
The five men are expected to appear again on 5 April when a date is expected to be announced for the transfer of the matter to the regional court.