Cape's underworld war heats up as bouncer is arrested for attempted murder

2016-11-17 20:06
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Cape Town - Bouncers exchanged gunfire with armed gangsters trying to force their way into a Goodwood pub in the latest resurgence of violence marking a power struggle rocking the local underworld.

One of the bouncers is now facing an attempted murder charge after a young man was wounded during the crossfire.

Sources told News24 a group of gangsters, known as the Young Rebels, are intent on taking over entertainment venues along Voortrekker Road.

And they are doing so through violence.

“It’s such a hectic situation, I feel my life is now in danger,” an employee at one pub said on Thursday.

Sources said a group of Young Rebels tried to rob someone outside a popular entertainment venue along Voortrekker Road early on Sunday.

“A bouncer opened the door… they threw stones and beer bottles at him,” a source said.

“They said they’d be back. They came back with guns. They shot at the bouncer and (another employee) shot back at them.”

On Thursday police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed the fight.

“It is alleged that the group of men wanted to enter the pub at about 03:30. There was then an argument between the group and the bouncer, which led to the bouncer firing a number of shots and hitting one of the men in the forearm,” he said.

“The bouncer then gave his firearm to a friend, who left the scene.”

Van Wyk said when the friend returned to the scene, police officers searched the vehicle he arrived in and found the firearm under the driver’s seat.

“The bouncer was arrested for attempted murder and the friend for the illegal possession of a firearm.”

The fight to control entertainment venues along Voortrekker Road started unfolding as it emerged that a violent power struggle between gangs was also playing out near popular venues in and around Cape Town’s city centre.

Drug trade

Sources operating in the underworld and others in the legal fraternity and police told News24 that rival gang associates are fighting for various reasons, such as dominating the lucrative drug trade during the festive season.

One gang and its associates believe rivals are targeting them because of their strong ties to nightclub security. They believe their rivals are trying to force them into retaliation attacks.

“It’s become a war. And we’ll go that route if necessary, if we’re pushed,” a source said.

Sources described some of the violent incidents that occurred recently.

They said that three Sundays ago, at 06:04, a bullet was fired at a nightclub in Loop Street. It did not strike anyone.

A black BMW X5 was seen speeding away. Sources at first suspected it was the brother of an alleged gang boss, but later established it was not.

A police source said the incident was not officially reported because “they’re trying to keep it quiet.”

Around 22:00 on the same Sunday, two young suspected gang members stabbed the brother of a Long Street eatery’s owner.

A staff member, who declined to be named, told News24 the two youngsters were involved in “some random initiation thing on Halloween”.

He said the duo harassed a few tourists on Long Street and a doorman at a nearby club. The owner’s brother intervened and they stabbed him.

Tourist street

“Police should be here 24 hours a day. This is a tourist street, but this is the perfect example to show how unsafe it is,” the staff member said.

A case of intent to do grievous bodily harm case was opened with police. No arrests had been made.

In one of the more recent incidents, Western Cape attorney Noorudien Hassan was murdered in Lansdowne on the evening of November 7.

Hassan had been involved in several high-profile cases linked to gangs.

The evening after Hassan was killed, Craig Mathieson, the night manager of Hotel 303, in Sea Point, was murdered inside the establishment. Nothing was stolen from him.

Controversial businessman Mark Lifman, who last year was acquitted of hundreds of bouncer industry-related charges, owns the hotel. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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