Cape 'underworld bosses' to be tried in high court for murder of 'steroid king' Brian Weinstein
Feared alleged underworld bosses accused of killing “steroid king” Brian Weinstein now face a raft of charges ranging from gang-related offences and intimidation to attempted murder.
Mark Lifman, alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome “Donkie” Booysen, Andre Naude and several others appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Wednesday where they were handed indictments.
Lifman, Booysen and alleged “27” gang leader William “Red” Stevens were arrested in December – in connection with Weinstein’s murder – and were released on R100,000 bail each. Stevens was murdered outside his Kraaifontein home in February.
Naude, Sam Farquharson, Jakobus Stevens, Egan Norman, Wayne Henderson, Anthony van der Watt, Ricardo Maarman, Typheyenne Jantjies, Bevan Ezaus, Bradley de Bula, Kashief Hanslo, Rowendal Stevens and Ismail Cupido have since joined Lifman and Booysen in the dock.
Weinstein was shot dead in his upmarket Constantia home in August 2017. According to the state, Wainstein’s assassination was financed by Lifman. They then benefited from the illegal steroid business which continued after Wainstein’s death.
On Wednesday, the accused were handed a lengthy indictment detailing the state’s case against them. The state accuses all of them of participating in a criminal gang between April 2017 and November 2017.
Lifman and Booysen are charged with Weinstein’s murder.
“The accused are guilty of the crime of murder … in that on or about 18 August 2017 and at or near 29 Horne Avenue, Constantia, in the district of Wynberg, the accused did unlawfully and intentionally and/or acting with common purpose kill Brian Weinstein, a male person, by shooting him,” the indictment reads.
Booysen is also accused of money laundering. The state alleges that between August 19 2017 and November 25 2017 he received R220,000 that he “knew or ought reasonably to have known that it was or formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities of another person”.
Lifman and Naude are accused of incitement to commit murder. According to the indictment, they wanted alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack, Booysens’ brother Colin, Jacque Cronje, Carl Lakay, Ashley Fields, Emile Goodley and James Dalton killed around November 2017.
In the indictment, the state says the “27” gang deals in drugs and “violent criminal activity”.
“William Stevens ... a former accused, recently shot and killed, was senior leader of the ‘27’ criminal gang,” the indictment reads.
“He together with Marawaan Desai (shot dead in 2017) and (Lifman, Booysen and Van der Watt) … participated in a pattern of criminal gang activity between April and November 2017.
“During 2016, a grouping made up of [Lifman, Booysen, Naude] and Colin Booysen who referred to themselves as the ‘brotherhood’ had established themselves as the dominant grouping in control of the nightclub and entertainment venue security or ‘bouncer’ industry in Cape Town.
"On 27 November 2016 an altercation took place between Colin Booysen and Kishor Naidoo at the Coco Bar where firearms were brandished. Colin Booysen complained that Naidoo had brought the Hotlanders or 27 gang to the club including [Stevens] and blamed [Booysen] for the problem.”
On November 27 2016, another altercation between Naidoo and Colin took place at the bar. Four people, including Colin’s bodyguard, were injured. This caused friction within the “brotherhood", according to the indictment.
“[Naude] was tasked to negotiate the split of Colin Booysen from the grouping which was finalised in November 2016,” the indictment reads.
“During 2016, Naidoo (who was a fugitive being sought on an international arrest warrant), a member of the 27 gang (a close) associate (of) William Stevens and close friend to [Booysen], began to play a more prominent role in the grouping. The tension between the groups came to a violent head on March 29 2017 when [Lifman and Naude] attended an auction at The Islands in Parow. [Booysen] expressed concern that Colin Booysen was allied to Nafiz Modack and Waseem Chaudry and although he could not kill his brother that he would act against Modack and Chaudry. This grouping thereafter began taking over security at entertainment venues and clubs perceived to be controlled by the older grouping.”
According to the indictment, a week after the auction incident a meeting took place at Stevens’ home in Kraaifontein to discuss the “takeover by the new grouping”. The meeting was attended by Watt, Desai and Naidoo, among others.
“They discussed the desire of [Lifman] to take back the clubs by force and intimidation and they all agreed to participate,” the indictment reads.
“William Stevens indicated that he will provide enough gang members to fill at least three to four taxis and that he will provide them with firearms which should be transported in other vehicles. Naidoo invited William Stevens to attend at the homes of [Booysen] to confirm the arrangements and assured Stevens that [Liftman] would be in attendance.”
The state alleges that Naidoo arranged another meeting at Booysen’s home in Belhar which was attended by Lifman, Booysen, Watt, Stevens and Naidoo, among others.
“William Stevens once again agreed to assist them, but wanted the assurance that he would receive work from them going forward,” the indictment reads.
“[Lifman] explained that he needed at least 100–200 men and that the work should be done over two days and that [he] needed this to happen as soon as possible. They agreed to meet on the first night at the Caltex garage at the Waterfront and [Booysen] suggested that they should start there and drive in convoy to the various clubs and the group further discussed plans as how they would arm themselves and the ‘27’ gang members participating in the activity. [Lifman] stressed that they need to be extremely aggressive and intimidating when approaching the clubs and entertainment venues to convince them to turn away from the new grouping.”
According to the indictment, the group – some armed with firearms and dressed in bulletproof vests and led by Booysen and Naude in a convoy – visited Cubana in Green Point, Coco Bar and Club 31 in the Cape Town CBD. They also visited the Grande Café at the Waterfront and the Mavericks Gentlemen’s Club in the CBD.
“At each of the clubs they ensured that they filled up the road with their vehicles and intimidated the clients and disrupted their business,” the indictment reads.
“While at Mavericks, [Booysen] advised that he had information that Colin Booysen and Modack were on their way to Cape Town. Naidoo and Desai then instructed the group to ambush them with the intention of killing them as they entered the city. Before Colin Booysen and Modack could arrive, the police arrived at the scene and ordered them to leave the city. They left and returned to the Caltex petrol station, where [Naude] instructed the group to come together again the next day.”
Police intercepted the group and an unlicensed firearm was recovered. While the matter was still under investigation, Henderson – who was a detective at the Sea Point police station – allegedly agreed to take a R100,000 bribe to “scupper the investigation”. This included destroying fingerprint evidence by not collecting a firearm that was to be examined “despite a covering letter signed by his commanding officer requesting fingerprint examination and despite the Forensic Science Laboratory … requesting him to collect the firearm for fingerprint examination … ”
After the interruption by the police on April 9 2017, the “old group” changed tactics.
“A hit squad made up of '27' gang members was established who would target the members of the new grouping and those establishments in alignment to them,” the indictment reads.
“They proceeded to discuss how they would go to a Café Caprice in Camps Bay to shoot a target which they referred to as the 'Pakistani' [Chaudry].”
Chestlyn Adams, a former “27” gang member, who is already serving a 25-year sentence in connection with the Weinstein’s killing, was handed photographs of the targets. A week after the Café Caprice shooting, Naidoo and another person allegedly collected a bag of money from Lifman.
“An amount of R100,000 was paid to William Stevens, while the rest was retained by Naidoo for his portion and payments he would make to Desai and [Booysen],” reads the indictment.
Other bars in the CBD were also targeted.
Adams admitted to being involved in the shooting incident at Café Caprice in Camps Bay in 2017. He was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in 2019 for his role in a double shooting related to an underworld nightclub security turf war in Cape Town.
Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for the prosecution in the Western Cape, said: “The accused were handed indictments and their legal representatives confirmed receipts of the documents”.
The matter was transfer to the high court. A pre-trial conference will take place on August 6. Proposed dates for the start of trial are February 28 to March 24 2022.