News24

Jackson's underworld links surface

2010-05-07 14:18

Johannesburg - Police had not ruled out the possibility that the person who killed Lolly Jackson might have left the country, as their investigations continued on Friday.

"We are considering all possibilities," said spokesperson Colonel Eugene Opperman.

The Jeep Cherokee that Jackson arrived in at the Kempton Park house on Monday, and which subsequently disappeared, had been found, he said.

Police received a call on Monday night from a man saying Jackson had been shot and that he wanted to hand himself in.

But, when they arrived at the rendezvous point, the man was not there.

Suspect not on Interpol list

Opperman confirmed they want to speak to George Smith - a former police informer believed to be a Cypriot - about the murder.

"Somebody somewhere must be hiding him," he said.

A photograph of Smith was splashed across newspapers on Thursday as police released titbits of information on the case to the media.

His name was not on the Interpol wanted list by Friday morning.

Jackson, who owned a chain of strip clubs, was murdered in Kempton Park on Monday night.

Theories on the motive for the murder read like plots in a crime novel, with money laundering, a debt dispute and a glitch during the purchase of a performance car put forward by observers.

Underworld

Google searches on some of the people quoted on Jackson's death in the various articles brought up stories of protection racketeers, "security specialists", drug gangs and other underworld activities.

Earlier this week police interviewed Czech Republic citizen Radovan Krejcir for over an hour.

His lawyer Ian Small-Smith said the investigators were trying to "unravel the matter" with the help of Krejcir, who is on the run from Czech authorities for tax fraud after being sentenced in absentia to six years in prison.

He was on the Interpol wanted list when he was arrested entering South Africa, and is in the process of challenging an extradition attempt by the Czech Republic.

Small-Smith said once someone was caught for Jackson's murder, Krejcir would co-operate fully with a trial and denied a report that this may be in exchange for a deal that the extradition matter be dropped.

Kebble links


The web of intrigue even included a cross reference to the Brett Kebble murder, with an allegation by the partner of a former stripper that a Ducati motorbike Jackson owned was found at the crime scene.

Small-Smith had represented Clinton Nassif, who has made a deal with the State in the case of the murder of Kebble in 2005.

The accused, Glenn Agliotti, was convicted of drug trafficking and was now the main witness in the corruption trial of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Small-Smith had also represented State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, when he was briefly detained by police at one stage on the Selebi investigation.

Nel, who is currently prosecutor in Selebi's trial, was never charged and was released. He has now been removed from the Kebble case.

Missing German businessman


Missing German businessman Uwe Gemballa's name also popped up in reports, with Krejcir saying he was supposed to have put up the money for a Porsche conversion franchise that Gemballa wanted to set up in South Africa.

Gemballa disappeared after arriving at OR Tambo International Airport in February, and his company was put into provisional liquidation days after.

The Star on Friday quoted a man called Cyril Beeka as saying he had seen Smith on the night Jackson was murdered.

A Google search of Beeka brings up stories on the Cape Town "escort agency" scene, his stint as an informer for the ANC's armed wing Umkhonto weSizwe and a brouhaha over him accompanying intelligence boss Mo Shaik to the 2007 ANC elective conference in Polokwane as a minder.

'Yuri the Russian'

Beeka had at one time briefly employed Ukrainian Yuri Ulianitski in his security business, but Ulianitski then left to start his own business.

Ulianitski was murdered along with his small daughter in 2007 as he faced charges of conspiring to kidnap and for possession of illegal firearms and drugs.

Jackson was to have attended court this week in connection with extortion allegations relating to a dispute over a former stripper who fell in love and left his company but then her boyfriend allegedly had to pay Jackson money.

But, the spokesperson for a bank that, according to one "this is the true story" whisper, may have fired a manager in connection with the Jackson money laundering theory said: "It could have been anybody. It could have been your gardener. It could have been my gardener."

"I gave a waiter who was hitchhiking a lift the other day and next thing I saw his picture in the papers for murder. The man was sitting right next to me in my car. You just never know."