'Extortion mastermind' brings in AK47-wielding guards for court date

05 April 2018 - 15:40 By Serena Hawkey And Hannah Green
Alleged extortionist, Nafiz Modack, smokes outside Cape Town Magistrate's Court after his appearance on Thursday.
Alleged extortionist, Nafiz Modack, smokes outside Cape Town Magistrate's Court after his appearance on Thursday.
Image: Serena Hawkey

Private security guards with assault rifles patrolled outside a Cape Town court where alleged mafioso Nafiz Modack heard he would stand trial for extortion on May 28.

Eight guards were stationed in the courtroom‚ and several more accompanied Modack‚ alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Colin Booysen‚ Ashley Fields and Carl Lakay to Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

A fifth accused‚ Jacques Cronje‚ did not appear as he was involved in a bail application in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on intimidation charges relating to an incident at Tasha’s restaurant in Constantia last month.

The Modack Group‚ as police have referred to them in court‚ is alleged to have sparked a nightclub security turf war in Cape Town by muscling in on the operation of alleged underworld boss Mark Lifman.

Thursday’s proceedings were to arrange a regional court date‚ but defence lawyers took the opportunity to claim that investigating officer Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear had not responded to their clients’ requests for permission to leave the province.

Modack also faces charges in Johannesburg for allegedly extorting strip clubs‚ but his bail conditions say he needs to inform Kinnear whenever he wants to leave the Western Cape.

His lawyer‚ Irfaan Parker‚ claimed he was chased away from Cape Town Central police station when he went to complain about Kinnear.

Police impounded three of the defendants’ bulletproof vehicles on Thursday‚ saying they contained “illegal gadgets”. After their court appearance‚ the defendants had to wait half an hour for two of the vehicles to be released. Police refused to return a Mercedes Benz.

Modack told TimesLIVE he brought in 10 security guards from Johannesburg for his court appearance. “They drove down because the police keep arresting our security guards in Cape Town‚” he said.

The guards were armed with R5 and AK47 assault rifles. Defence lawyer Rooshdeen Rudolph said the security detail was necessary because of a R20-million bounty on Modack's head.

Modack and his lawyer‚ Bruce Hendricks‚ said they intended to lay criminal complaints against the police for allegedly intimidating the bodyguards and seizing the vehicles.