Charges withdrawn against 3 suspected Cape Town club turf shooters

2017-04-20 14:30
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Charges of attempted murder against three suspects arrested in connection with a shooting at an upmarket Camps Bay cafe have been withdrawn, police confirmed on Thursday.

The trio appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

"[Charges were] withdrawn in court. They were subsequently released and the case is still under investigation," said police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut.

The three were arrested at a Camps Bay café after two people were shot at the venue early on Monday.

A white VW Polo Vivo was also recovered and police said a replica firearm was discovered in the boot.

Several sources, within the legal fraternity and with links to police, said one of those shot was a businessman whose tyre service centre was petrol bombed in May 2016.

Photo sent to police, journalist

But the businessman on Wednesday told News24 he was not involved in the incident and that his name has been intentionally brought into the matter as part of an elaborate plot.

Individuals close to the man that was actually shot, a 28-year-old who was wounded in the abdomen, said he was an innocent bystander and had been at the restaurant for a relaxing meal with friends.

They said he was in no way linked to the underworld.

On Wednesday a photograph of the businessman's apparent driver's licence was sent to several individuals, including some within the police force, and to News24.

Information accompanying the photograph said that it was found in the car which police had searched at the scene in Camps Bay.

However, the businessman on Thursday told News24 he had his driver's licence on him.

He said, based on the background, the photograph appeared to have been taken on one of his countertops.

The businessman said he was worried about his name being publicly dragged into the matter, adding that he did not know why he was being targeted.

Monday morning's club shooting is believed to be linked to a massive underworld turf war over club security. About three weeks ago a new grouping, apparently headed by businessman Nafiz Modack, snatched control from an older grouping.

Security agency linked dismissed

While police have not confirmed it, several sources with links to police and the underworld said employees of a Bellville-based company, The Security Group, were involved in the three arrests on Monday.

News24 has established that the company, which claims to have strong links to intelligence services and police, is involved in the nightclub security industry.

But the State Security Agency has distanced itself from the company, saying it does not have a working relationship with it.

Several sources, within the police service and the underworld, believe the shift in the control of the club security business in Cape Town has been orchestrated by police and informants to try and take down key underworld players.

But State Security Agency spokesperson Brian Dube on Wednesday dismissed as baseless allegations that the agency was involved.

"The allegations made about our involvement in the 'shake up' of the industry are baseless and are devoid of any truth," he said.

"It's a known fact some in this industry have always claimed or alleged that the security services are busy trying to destabilise the industry."

The individuals linked to the man, 28, who was wounded in the abdomen, have asked for an apology from News24 for initially incorrectly identifying the man that was shot in the abdomen as being the Observatory tyre fitment centre owner. News24 apologises for any harm this may have caused.

They have also requested that it be reiterated Café Caprice is a restaurant and not a club.

This article has been edited to reflect the views of the individuals linked to the wounded man.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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