Lolly's 'protégé' feared for his life

2011-09-28 23:16
Johannesburg - Mark Andrews, a former "protégé" and business partner of slain Teazers stripclub boss Lolly Jackson, was heavily in debt and "feared for his life" before he was murdered on Wednesday, Media24 Investigations has learned.

The death of Andrews, 36, is the latest in a series of murders that have rocked the Johannesburg underworld since early last year.

An informed source told Media24 Investigations that Andrews called his parents on Tuesday, saying that he was being "set up" for the murder of Jackson's former lawyer Ian Jordaan, who was killed a week ago, and that he told them he feared for his life

His corpse was found early on Wednesday, just metres from the side of the R59 highway outside Brackendowns on Gauteng's East Rand.

His hands had been bound in front of him with a black cable-tie. He was lying face down in a pool of blood. There was a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.

There was no exit wound. Investigators believe he may have been shot with a low-calibre bullet, possibly a .22.

It is understood the body was discovered by members of the police's tracking unit at about 03:00 as they drove past the murder scene while investigating an unrelated case.

He was wearing white takkies and light-coloured pants, which were caught in the headlights of the police vehicle as it drove past.

It is also understood that Andrews was heavily in debt with "some heavies", and was going to a meeting with them to "sort things out".

Media24 Investigations has reliably learnt that between December 2009 and May this year Andrews had accumulated credit card and other debts of close to R1m, the bulk of which were written off by creditors.

Company records show that since 1996, Andrews had served as a director of at least 20 companies, many of them shelf companies.

Person-of-interest

Andrews was considered a "person-of-interest" by police investigating the apparent kidnapping, ransom and murder of Jordaan whose burnt-out silver double-cab Mitsubishi bakkie was found on its roof under a bridge on the Broederstroom road near Hekpoort outside Krugersdorp last Wednesday.

A corpse, burnt beyond recognition, was found lying on the overturned vehicle's undercarriage.

Media24 Investigations revealed on Sunday that the corpse’s teeth had been smashed out and police are now relying on DNA tests to confirm whether it is in fact Jordaan's body.

Jordaan - a partner at the firm Jordaan & Wolberg Attorneys was last seen alive last Tuesday as he left his office to meet "prospective clients".

Later that day he called his office to say that a man would be arriving to collect his laptop.

CCTV footage from a camera outside the law firm shows a man in a pink shirt, described as being of “West African” origin, arriving at the law firm's offices and leaving with the laptop.

At about midnight on Tuesday, R1.8m was transferred out of Jordaan's trust account into a Bidvest Bank account apparently held by Andrews. The transfer was intercepted and frozen last week.

Andrews' friendship with Jackson ended in a bitter feud and a 2009 court battle over the ownership of the Teazers Cresta branch.

At the time, Jackson claimed  Andrews had "stabbed him in the back" and was "hijacking" a business they had run as partners since 2006.

Andrews argued that the business was his and that the only link was the Teazers name, for which he paid Jackson until he renamed the club Decadence.

Jackson later regained control of the club but prior to his return, Andrews "trashed the place", ripping out light fittings and smashing mirrors in the strippers' changing rooms.

A close friend a Jackson’s told Media24 Investigations yesterday that Jackson  "absolutely hated" Andrews.

* Jackson was shot dead in May last year. Other underworld killings have included the kidnapping and murder of German supercar dealer Uwe Gemballa, the drive-by shooting of Cape Town gangland boss Cyril Beeka, the murder in December last year of Chris Couremetis, a Johannesburg businessman who was shot dead at the Cradle of Humankind after a wedding.

Send tip-offs to Media24's investigations team at investigations@media24.com

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Read more on:    chris couremetis  |  cyril beeka  |  ian jordaan  |  lolly jackson  |  uwe gemballa  |  johannesburg
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