'He gave children guns' – new allegations emerge in Colin Booysen, bodyguards' bail application

2018-10-19 20:33
Colin Booysen (File, Peter Abrahams, Son)

Colin Booysen (File, Peter Abrahams, Son)

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The man taxi owner Colin Booysen and his bodyguards are accused of shooting dead had tried to break away from a gang the State alleges Booysen is part of, the Bellville Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

However, Booysen's lawyer strongly rejected that Booysen or the guards were involved in any gang activity.

He was also outraged that a new charge of attempted murder was brought against his clients on Friday during the second part of their bail application.

"It is a bail application by ambush," said advocate Bruce Hendricks, who was hoping to have the bail application finalised in time for the weekend.

Hendricks said Booysen and his highly trained bodyguards, Calvin Abels and Vuyiswa Macingwana, were only facing the charges because the guards had protected Booysen's life as they had been trained to and had done so after a second confrontation with a seemingly agitated and armed Adrian Pietersen.

Pietersen died during a shootout that started when a shot was fired during an argument between Booysen and Pietersen outside a house in Belhar, Cape Town.

'I am God'

Hendricks stated that the latest attempted murder charge against his clients was made by a 16-year-old who faces his own gun-related charges. He said the juvenile had violated his own bail conditions by going to Belhar in the first place.

Booysen, dressed in a black track suit with a white stripe down the side, listened intently as the previously empty public gallery was suddenly dotted with numerous police officers for security, as well as the families of the accused. His co-accused were also casually dressed, with one wearing a jacket with an Orlando Pirates badge on it.

Hendricks handed up a large number of affidavits, photographs of bullet marks on Booysen's bullet-proof BMW SUV and Facebook pictures posted on the victim's page to support his contention that Booysen's life had been threatened at the time of the shooting.

Pictures submitted included Pietersen purportedly snorting cocaine and a picture of him holding a firearm in spite of not having a firearm licence.

A quotation that Pietersen apparently posted on Facebook read: "I am God. If I say a man dies, he dies that same day - Pablo Escobar". Escobar was a Columbian who ran a multibillion-dollar drug-smuggling enterprise before he was shot dead.

Hendricks said his clients were definitely not in gangs, and the State had no proof that they "sat around a table and planned to kill Pieterse". None of them had gang tattoos such as the number "28" on their arms or chest. They should be released on bail immediately until they go on trial.

Bullet-proof vest, gun not found

He argued on Wednesday that Booysen stands to lose his R60 000 a month in income from the five taxis he owns if he is kept in custody. His private bodyguards had all the certification they needed to protect Booysen, and had never been arrested before. They were taking being held in prison very badly.

He said that Booysen and the guards had actually managed to extract themselves from one confrontation with Pietersen on the day of the shooting, but in the second confrontation, Pietersen arrived at Booysen's relative's house in Belhar wearing a bullet-proof vest and waving a gun around.

He said the police claimed to have found 12 cartridges linked to the bodyguards' licensed weapons at the scene, and established that Pietersen was shot four times. They claimed that a witness saw Abels standing over Pietersen and shooting him. However, no other cartridges were retrieved. The bullet-proof vest Pietersen wore and his gun were also not found.

READ: Murder accused Colin Booysen, bodyguards' bail finalisation postponed

He said the scene itself was not secured, with people walking all over the area. Fighting carried on after the shooting, with some people involved in the argument even dropping guns, but none of these were retrieved by police.

He added that Abels, who has first aid training, tried to save Pietersen's life.

The bullet cartridges from the shots fired at Booysen's vehicle were also not retrieved.

The three intend pleading not guilty, and believe Booysen's life was under threat at the time.

But the State had its own arsenal of retorts, with prosecutor Samantha Regnart stating: "The fact remains that he (Pietersen) is deceased and how that happened is important."

She alleged that Booysen was a leader of the Sexy Boys gang.

Untested allegations

She said the State had received an affidavit from Pietersen's mother, Pauline, alleging that Pietersen left school to work for Booysen when he was 14.

She alleged that her son, in his early twenties when he died, smuggled drugs for Booysen from his base known as "The White House".

She alleged that Booysen gave the children guns.

The allegations have not been tested with witness cross-examination as the matter is only a bail hearing.

However, she said in August 2018 there was a split in the Sexy Boys gang and her son started smuggling for himself.

She said Booysen tried to approach her son about it at their home but he didn't come inside the house. She was sent a voice note about the situation and played it to her son.

He warned her: "Mommy, you're playing with fire. Mommy you don't know what you are mixed up in."

Between then and the day Pietersen was shot, he and Booysen never spoke, the court heard via an affidavit.

Denial of bail would be 'unconstitutional'

Regnart submitted that the three could be a threat to the community if they were released, and that there would also be public outrage given the concern about gang violence.

Booysen has three other previous convictions, one for the murder of a police officer in the early 1990s, and served time for them.

But Hendricks said he had no convictions for the last 16 years. There was also no sign that either of the three had anything to do with gangs. They were not even facing charges under the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act. He said keeping them in custody would be unconstitutional because his clients were the ones under threat.

He also wanted to know why Pietersen's mother had never reported the guns and the drugs to the police before her son's death. He said there was not even a single protester outside court to express outrage over gangs, so the argument that the accused were in a gang did not hold either. 

He said Booysen had been warned by someone that Pietersen was on his way to them with a gun.

The court ran out of time to finalise the application.

Magistrate Zakira Mohamed postponed the matter to October 23.

Booysen also has to be in court in December to face extortion charges. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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