Nafiz Modack's accuser 'colluded' with rival Mark Lifman, extortion trial told
Alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack alleged collusion between his rival, Mark Lifman, and the state’s main witness in an extortion case on Wednesday.
Advocate Dirk Uys, appearing for Modack in the Cape Town regional court trial, made the allegation while cross-examining investigating officer Lt-Col Charl Kinnear.
He asked Kinnear whether he thought a meeting between Lifman and state witness Radley Dijkers, the brand manager of Cape Town's Grand Café Africa, amounted to collusion.
When Kinnear said no, Uys said it was easy for him to conclude there was some sort of collusion as a result of the meeting.
The encounter came to light when Kinnear's deputy, Capt Anthea Jafta, walked in on the meeting at Lifman’s Sea Point house shortly after he made a statement implicating Modack and several others in the extortion case.
Kinnear testified that he knew there was fighting in the nightclub security industry between Lifman and Modack.
He knew one of the areas of conflict was Grand Café Africa’s security contract, which was run by Lifman and bouncer boss Andre Naude before Modack’s alleged forceful takeover.
Testifying as a state witness, Kinnear said Lifman himself told him about the turf war when he went to interview him at his home about a crimen injuria case involving Modack’s co-accused Jacques Cronje.
Kinnear then claimed Jafta had never told him she found Dijkers at Lifman’s house.
Uys also questioned Kinnear on why standard procedure was not followed when the extortion complaint was made by Stewart Bailey, a former manager at Harbour House Group, which owns the Grand.
According to Kinnear, Jafta called him to her office at Cape Town Central police station for a meeting with his commander, Maj-Gen Jeremy Vearey.
They decided to open an inquiry docket rather than register a complaint in the police computer system.
Asked why Jafta did not register the complaint on the system herself, Kinnear said she should be questioned on that.
Kinnear said he was presented with a “docket” with statements and procedural documents already completed, which he registered once he was satisfied the statements could be corroborated.
Jafta and Kinnear became involved in the case as a result of being tasked by Vearey to curb a violent nightclub security war being waged by rival underworld groups.
Only Bailey and Dijkers testified as witnesses to the extortion incident, with Djikers being formally charged after implicating himself as an accomplice on the first day of his testimony.
Uys asked Kinnear why he did not interview any other individuals implicated in Dijkers' statement to the police.
The detective said he tried but the witnesses refused to talk to him.
Asked why he did not “oblige” the witnesses to make statements, which Kinnear admitted was often done by other investigators, he replied: “I don’t do that.”
The case was adjourned until Thursday.