'I think it was a fight about money' - Pete Mihalik's father

The shooting of top Cape Town advocate Pete Mihalik outside his son's school in Green Point could be linked to his work, his father Janos Mihalik said just hours after his son's death on Tuesday.

"When I watched the news, I couldn’t believe it... I was shocked," he told News24.

He said his son sometimes had arguments with clients about payment for his services.

"He took these cases on and agreed on the fee. I think it was a fight about money.

"This guy was a murderer who wanted to assassinate him, and is not a very clever guy, because I hear he has been arrested already."

READ: Slain advocate Pete Mihalik lost his wife, mother and sister to suicide

Western Cape police confirmed on Tuesday that a suspect was being questioned by detectives of the anti-gang unit in connection with the murder. Media reports said the man was arrested near Atlantis.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the one suspect arrested came from outside the Western Cape.

"The [guy] came from the province I come from. They moved all the way to shoot a person here [Cape Town]."

Mihalik senior, also an advocate, said he had planned to see his 50-year-old son later this week.

"I would have seen him on Friday, which is my birthday. I don't know what he had in mind."

With the murder still very fresh, the family has not yet decided on the future of Mihalik's son and daughter.

Mihalik was shot dead in his Mercedes-Benz around 07:30 while dropping off his children at Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school, in Thornhill Road, on Tuesday morning.

His 8-year-old son was injured and is being treated in a hospital. His daughter was also in the car.

'I looked over there and saw a big silver gun'

Neighbours who rushed outside after hearing two shots reported that they saw blood all over the son, while the daughter apparently screamed for an ambulance.

"She [the daughter] is in matric and has six distinctions," explained Mihalik senior. "She wanted to study law and medicine, but ended up with law.

"She probably wanted to be an advocate like her father. She might have changed her mind now."

One neighbour said that Mihalik drove the same route to school every day, at the same time. They would hear the loud revs of his matte dark silver SUV down the small side road and knew it was him.

Another family living nearby, who asked not to be identified, said they heard the shots and saw the shooter.

"I looked over there and saw a big silver gun. It actually almost looked like a toy gun because he was so calm about it," the mother of that family said.

She said the shooter seemed to hide his gun behind a briefcase as he walked quickly away from the scene and got into a vehicle.

Friends and colleagues of Mihalik stood near the police tape in apparent shock, as specialist police teams combed the scene for forensic evidence.

Someone held a Reddam backpack that was said to belong to Mihalik's son. Blood could be seen on the leather tag on the back of the bag.

'A very polite, nice guy'

A man in white scrubs documented the scene with a handheld camera, even going down on his knees at one point to film under the vehicle.

Mihalik's body, covered in a white sheet, was wheeled into a forensic pathology van a few hours later.

Traffic was gridlocked on the nearby Main Road. Some parents hovered nearby. The school was on lockdown and would offer counselling for the children.

The scene outside Mihalik's beachfront apartment in Mouille Point, a few kilometres away, was a lot more tranquil.

READ: Slain lawyer Mihalik was deeply involved with Cape Town underworld

Shortly after News24 arrived at the scene, a PPA security van pulled up and said it was not a good time to be there.

John O'Connor spoke to News24 outside the apartment building. O'Connor, who owns a bicycle store nearby, said he was shocked by the shooting.

Mihalik had often visited the shop for his son's bike.

"I saw him yesterday [Monday] afternoon. I was test riding a bike and he was sitting in his car. I greeted him and he greeted me," said O'Connor.

"He was a very friendly figure... a very polite, nice guy. It was an absolute shock to hear that he lost his life like that."


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