Judgment begins in mammoth Cape Town gangster case

2015-05-06 12:14
George "Geweld" Thomas (Supplied)

George "Geweld" Thomas (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court started hearing judgment this week in one of the most frightening criminal cases in the country’s history.

Following a four-year trial, Judge Chantal Fortuin will spend the next two to three weeks reading out an 800-page ruling against alleged 28s gang leader George “Geweld” (Violence) Thomas and his 17 co-accused.

There were initially 19 accused but charges were withdrawn against Fred Williams after witnesses who incriminated him were not prepared to testify.

The 18 accused initially faced 166 charges but last year, at the close of the State’s case, were acquitted on 25 charges.

The court record comes to a whopping 27 519 pages thus far.

19 murder charges

The accused face 19 murder charges, 27 attempted murder charges, as well as allegations of robbery, possession of firearms and racketeering.

A total of 164 witnesses were called by the State, said the National Prosecuting Authority’s Eric Ntabazalila.

The group was also indicted for the murder of six witnesses who were killed in the duration of the trial.

About 12 witnesses and their families are in witness protection programmes and during the course of the trial, many more were under protection for a short period, said Ntabazalila.

The numbers gangs – the 26s, 27s and 28s – started in the late 1800s and originated in jails and mining compounds.

The NPA said that under Thomas’s leadership, the 28s on the streets, mainly in the suburb of Bishop Lavis, were highly organised and “has a militaristic-like structure and rank system”.

Read more on:    cape town  |  gang violence  |  crime

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