Colin Booysen intimidation case scrapped as detective takes a bruising
Alleged Cape Town gang boss Colin Booysen’s lawyers punched holes through an intimidation case with an audio recording which suggested the alleged victim lied to avoid being charged with intimidation himself.
The state withdrew the intimidation case against Booysen in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, December 19 2018.
Booysen was accused of intimidating Kurwin Smith, one of the men who allegedly tried to kill him in a hit on September 28 2018, and a witness in a murder case relating to the same incident, in which Booysen is the suspect.
Two days of cross-examination cast doubt on the police’s handling of the investigation into the alleged hit and continued attempts to revoke Booysen’s bail.
The case related to an incident on December 6 2018 during which Booysen allegedly intimidated Smith. The incident is said to have happened in the corridors of the Bellville court.
But an audio recording presented by the defence revealed that Smith told Booysen he would withdraw the murder complaint against him if Booysen withdrew his attempted murder complaint against Smith.
The conversation was inadvertently recorded by Booysen on a cellphone app. The app was active during a call between him and Clayton Loubscher, who runs Booysen’s taxi business.
The withdrawal of the charge followed a scathing cross-examination of the investigating officer in the intimidation case, Detective Constable Cornel Jaars, also the investigating officer in the attempted murder and murder cases.
Jaars claimed that according to Smith and an independent witness, Booysen approached Smith and threatened him. But the audio recording portrayed Smith as the instigator and Booysen can clearly be heard saying, three times, “Ek mag nie met jou praat nie [I am not allowed to talk to you]”, before Smith proposes they withdraw their cases.
Video evidence presented by alleged gang boss Colin Booysen's lawyers in the Bellville Magistrates Court shows Kurwin Smith running with a gun in Chestnut Court, Belhar, shortly after he allegedly tried to kill Booysen. His alleged accomplice the "hit" Adrian Petersen was killed. pic.twitter.com/Dzt2H794tC— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) December 20, 2018
During cross-examination by Booysen’s advocate, Brendale Abrahams, it emerged that nearly a week after the attempted hit Jaars took a statement from Smith, who had been identified by Booysen and other witnesses as one of the alleged attackers.
Smith had previously worked for Booysen and the footage showed him carrying a gun in Belhar, about a kilometre from where the incident took place. Jaars said he did not interview witnesses on the grounds that the gun could have been fake.
It was on Smith’s version that Jaars made a case of murder against Booysen and his bodyguards, Calvin Abels and Vuyisane Macinguana, who gunned down one of the other hitmen, Adrian Petersen.
They claim they acted in self-defence and in defence of their client after Petersen opened fire on them.
Abrahams claimed Jaars could not investigate the murder and attempted murder cases in an unbiased manner as they related to contradictory versions of the same events, and Jaars clearly favoured Smith’s story.
On Wednesday, December 19 2018, Jaars denied any bias and said the evidence “pointed in the other direction” and incriminated Booysen.
He then told the court, “I don’t think the defence knows this guy”, alluding to Booysen’s “feared reputation” in the community.
Abrahams said this comment was proof that he had a preconceived notion of Booysen and could not investigate both cases objectively.
On Thursday, December 20 2018, Jaars told the court he had spoken with a colleague and agreed to hand over the murder case in which Booysen and his bodyguards are suspects. However, he would continue investigating the attempted murder case in which Booysen is the alleged victim.
Video evidence presented to the Bellville Magistrates Court shows the man who alleged gang boss Colin Booysen allegedly murdered, Adrian Petersen, firing a pistol at a shooting range. It is alleged that Petersen and Kurwin Smith tried to kill Booysen in a botched hit in September pic.twitter.com/PVJmISBAeZ— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) December 20, 2018
Abrahams pointed out that Jaars’ “clear bias” against Booysen would hinder progress on the case.
Since anti-gang unit commander General Andre Lincoln “disrupted” proceedings in the Cape Town Regional Court last month to execute an arrest warrant for Booysen – he faces extortion charges alongside Nafiz Modack, Ashley Fields, and Jacques Cronje – the state has tried to revoke his bail.
The stunt, for which Lincoln was reprimanded by magistrate Bruce Pedro, was seized on by defence lawyers in the Modack trial as evidence that the police were working against their clients and in favour of an opposition grouping in the “nightclub security” scene in Cape Town.
Modack and Booysen are alleged to form part of an extortion racket which has challenged a more established network of alleged extortion bosses controlled by Mark Lifman and Booysen’s brother, Jerome “Donkie” Booysen.
Colin Booysen is the suspected head of a faction of the Sexy Boys gang, with “Donkie” allegedly controlling another faction, according to sources close to both brothers and evidence presented in court cases spanning years.
Another Booysen brother, Michael, was convicted of murder and five counts of attempted murder in 2003 for his role in a gang fight in the Sexy Boys stronghold of Chestnut Place, Belhar.