'Steroid king' a loyal friend and feared foe
To those he liked he was a generous soul who once sent a chef to cook his wounded friend a favourite meal.
But to his enemies Brian Wainstein was the “steroid king”, a ruthless businessman who trailed a dark shadow of violence and intimidation.
Now Wainstein is just another corpse linked to Cape Town’s underworld after he was shot dead at close range while in bed with his wife and two-year-old child early on Friday. The attackers stole only three cellphones, raising suspicions of a well-orchestrated hit.
Wainstein was fighting an extradition case to the US, where he was accused of flooding the market with R78-million in steroids. He was also being investigated for possession of 12 uncut diamonds in Cape Town and for threatening the owners of a Green Point shop.On Friday, police swarmed over Wainstein’s Constantia home in Hohenhort Road, where neighbours said they heard noises in the early hours, followed by three gunshots.
Sources said Wainstein’s home was highly secure – one said it was “better than Pollsmoor” - and that he never travelled without bodyguards.
In November last year, Wainstein was arrested in possession of uncut diamonds on the same day he walked into a sports supplement shop and ordered the owners to stock his brand of steroids, Axiolabs. He told them he would “blow up their store” if they did not comply.
He was released on police bail on the diamond charges but did not arrive for his first appearance at Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.
Ryan Pretorius, who co-owned Nutrition Rage in Green Point, said Wainstein threatened to kill him and his family. “He walked into our shop and said we won’t sell any other products than the stuff that he sells because (Green Point) is his area, it’s his people, he controls that area,” said Pretorius.
“He told us if we don’t sell his stuff we won’t see another day and he’ll blow up the place.”
After a further confrontation with Wainstein at the Arnold Classic Africa body building festival in Sandton, in May, he and his partner closed the shop and fled to Mpumalanga with their families.