REVEALED: A shooting that sparked a decade of underworld murders

2017-05-21 10:55

Cape Town - Sunday marks ten years since one of South Africa's most high-profile underworld hits was carried out, sparking a series of shootings which is still tearing apart allegiances and unleashing fresh violence.

This violence is now rattling the nightclub security industry, which has become the focus of an intense war between two underworld factions.

A newer faction is said to be ousting an older faction and in the process, several people have been killed and wounded.

Twenty bullets

One of the most impactful shootings, which had a ripple effect still being felt in the underworld, happened ten years ago.

On May 21, 2007, Yuri “The Russian” Ulianitski and his daughter Yulia, 4, were murdered as he was driving his family from a Milnerton restaurant where he had celebrated his birthday.

Ulianitski, heavily involved in the club and bouncer scene, was shot 20 times, while Yulia was shot once the head.

No one was ever arrested for the killings.

Ripple effect

Barely four years later, one of Ulianitski’s associates and another bouncer kingpin, Cyril Beeka, was gunned down in a similar manner.

Beeka was murdered in Bellville South on March 21, 2011, as he was being driven in the area. No arrests were made in that case either.

Beeka’s driver at the time of the shooting was Serbian fugitive Dobrosav Gavric, who was wounded in the incident and who has been detained since shortly after the shooting pending court matters.

Five years ago in a court case relating to Gavric, an investigating officer, Paul Hendrikse, had testified that alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen was a suspect in Beeka’s murder.

Hendrikse had also testified that Beeka had been friends with now-convicted Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

There was an attempt on Krejcir’s life on July 24, 2013.

Booysen, the last person Beeka had visited and named as a murder suspect, was never arrested.

There was also an attempt on his life earlier this month.

On May 8, 2017, as underworld shootings again intensified in Cape Town, Booysen was wounded in a shooting in Elsies River.

Web of links

He was said to have been on his way to see Deon Williams, said to be linked to the 26s gang and better known as Igor, who was shot dead in Ravensmead, that evening.

Booysen did business with controversial Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman, who at one stage had also been Ulianitski’s business partner.

In another shooting linked to the Beeka matter, Leon Davids, was killed on October 9, 2013, in Belhar, an area widely known as a Sexy Boys gang stronghold.

Davids, according to several sources, had witnessed Beeka’s murder and may have been involved in it.

Sources had said that Davids had at one stage been in witness protection, but had left it.

After this former associates of Beeka had apparently set up a job for him at a nightclub in Loop Street in central Cape Town.

Once he had relaxed into this, the sources said, he was killed.

In another murder linked to the nightclub industry, Nathaniel Moses was murdered in Strand on January 15, 2016.

He had run a popular club in the area and was a leader of the Mobsters faction of the 28s gang, a faction allegedly responsible for a spate of murders around the province.

Moses’s murder became the centre of a political mudslinging match when claims surfaced that senior policeman Major-General Jeremy Vearey was involved in the killing.

Vearey denied this, saying certain police officers and a politician were running a smear campaign against him because of investigations he was doing.

Cigarettes, drugs, perlemoen

The current underworld club security violence is also said to be linked to the illicit cigarette and drug trade, as well as perlemoen smuggling operations.

On January 21, 2017 Russel Jacobs, 30, who was linked to some high profile gang and perlemoen cases in the province, died in hospital after he was shot in the stomach and back the day before in Blue Downs.

Jacobs had links to the 28s gang.

On March 30, Mayon McKenna was murdered in Ravensmead and a second man was wounded.

Several sources, with links to police, said McKenna was allegedly involved in the drug trade, as well as the underworld, as he channelled drugs and offered protection to some key figures.

He was said to be a member of the 26s gang.

Another killing played out barely two days after McKenna was murdered.

On April 1, 2017 alleged Fancy Boys gang leader Shamiel Eyssen, 45, was gunned down in Bishop Lavis.

Sources with close knowledge of what played out, said he was allegedly killed because he was owed money in a major cigarette deal.

Eyssen was also allegedly linked to the older faction in the club security scene which previously dominated the industry, and which is now being toppled by the newer faction.

Businessman Nafiz Modack is said to be among those heading the new faction.

Previously, Lifman, Booysen, Booysen's brother Colin Booysen and former bouncer boss Andre Naude were involved in a dominating club security company, which has since shut down.

Timeline of hits and attempted hits over 10 years:

May 21, 2007 - Yuri “The Russian” Ulianitski and his daughter Yulia, 4, were murdered as he was driving his family from a Milnerton.

March 21, 2011 - Bouncer boss Cyril Beeka, who worked with Ulianitski, was murdered in Bellville South.

July 24, 2013  - There was an attempt on notorious Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir’s life in Johannesburg.

October 9, 2013 - Leon Davids, who several sources claimed had witnessed Beeka’s killing, was shot dead in Belhar, an area widely known as a Sexy Boys gang stronghold.

January 15, 2016 - Nathaniel Moses was murdered in Strand, He was a leader of the Mobsters faction of the 28s gang, a faction allegedly responsible for a spate of murders around the province.

January 21, 2017 - Russel Jacobs, a suspected perlemoen kingpin, died in hospital after being shot the day before in Blue Downs. He had links to the 28s gang.

April 1, 2017 - Shamiel Eyssen, 45, was gunned down in Bishop Lavis. He was allegedly killed because he was owed money in a major cigarette deal.

April 30, 2017 - Mayon McKenna, an alleged gang boss, was killed in Ravensmead. He was allegedly involved in the drug trade and offered protection to key underworld figures.

May 8, 2017 - Jerome “Donkie” Booysen, previously named as a suspect in Beeka’s murder and head of the Sexy Boys gang, is wounded in a shooting in Elsies River. He was said to have been on his way to see Deon Williams, said to be linked to the 26s gang, who was shot dead in Ravensmead that same evening.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

French Bulldog helps kids with facial differences

Lentil Bean is a french bulldog who was born with a severe cleft nose, lip and palate.

 
 

Paws

Weird things dogs do
Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.