Heavy police presence as underworld figure Modack, co-accused appear in dock

2017-12-18 13:32
There was a heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday when several underworld suspects appeared on extortion charges. (Picture: Caryn Dolley, News24)

There was a heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday when several underworld suspects appeared on extortion charges. (Picture: Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town - Controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, and six others linked to the underworld and nightclub security takeover, are set to spend Christmas behind bars.

Modack appeared in the same dock in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday as Colin Booysen - who is the brother of suspected Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome "Donkie" Booysen - Jacques Cronje, James de Jager, Ashley Fields, Mathys Visser and Carl Lakay.

Their cases were postponed to next Wednesday for bail applications.

Several police officers were stationed around the courtroom during the appearances on Monday.

Security measures

Officers at the entrance to the courtroom were told not to allow any more people inside, as it was full.

Ahead of the appearances, journalists sitting at the front of the courtroom were also told to move to the public gallery.

A man, linked to the police, used his cellphone to take photographs of some of those in the public gallery, including relatives of the suspects.

Among the police officers present in court was Major-General Jeremy Vearey, the head of the Cape Town police cluster.

Modack appeared in the dock alongside Booysen, Fields, Cronje and Lackay on an extortion charge.

The court heard that the State was opposed to their release on bail, because it was believed this would put witnesses and residents at risk. More charges were expected to be added against the accused.

Heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Prosecutor Adiel Jansen said dockets had already been opened.

Pete Mihalik, who represented Booysen, said it was up to the State to prove why the accused should not be released on bail.

Mihalik said, in an unusual move, the State had not disclosed what charges they faced.

Irregularity claim

"The accused before court did not know why they are appearing... That is highly irregular," he argued.

Mihalik said certain items had been seized and that the police needed to return these.

He said the State needed to pull up its socks.

"This is not something that happened overnight, they've been investigating for some time," Mihalik said.

On Monday afternoon Bruce Hendricks, the instructing attorney representing Colin Booysen, was consulting with Mihalik, as he planned to possibly approach the Western Cape High Court on a urgent basis to try and secure his client's release on bail.

Before the bigger group appeared, Visser and De Jager took to the dock on a charge relating to having provided a firearm and ammunition to someone not meant to have them.

Jansen indicated further similar charges, under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, would be added. Several dockets have been opened in relation to this.

All seven were arrested in a crackdown last Friday.

READ: Underworld nightclub extortion case: 7 arrests and recorded calls with cops

Underworld violence started surging in Cape Town late last year when a new grouping of men, headed by Modack, started taking control of nightclub security from a more established grouping.

The takeover sparked violence and several shootings.

It also resulted in several recent arrests.

For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld, see News24's showcase Underworld Unmasked

Friday’s seven arrests form part of a much broader investigation into underworld activities, including a murder plot.

Hussain Ait Taleb, better known in bouncer circles as Hussain Moroccan, was arrested in October on a conspiracy to commit murder charge.

It has been alleged that he hired two individuals to murder a club owner who refused to pay him protection money.

Taleb is in custody and expected to apply for bail in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court this week.

Read more on:    nafiz modack  |  cape town  |  courts  |  underworld  |  crime

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