Underworld murders being avenged, years later

2017-04-13 18:06
A group of men have started going to nightclubs in Cape Town and taking over security operations in a club turf war. (Supplied)

A group of men have started going to nightclubs in Cape Town and taking over security operations in a club turf war. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - Two of the most sensational underworld murders committed in Cape Town years ago are still being avenged and the rifts caused have bred powerful new allegiances. 

This has become apparent in the new battle for control of the nightclub security industry in the Western Cape. Key figures are choosing which allegiance to join based on the killings that happened several years ago.

A new group has taken over nightclub security through a coup carried out roughly two weeks ago. Several businessmen, previously linked to those murdered, have joined it.

Previous murders

The first murder was that of Yuri “The Russian” Ulianitski. He was shot dead while driving in Milnerton on May 21, 2007.

He had a stronghold over nightclub security and strip clubs and was the ringleader of a group of Eastern European men based in Cape Town. Speculation had always been rife that his assassination was plotted by someone close to him and who was in business with him.

The second murder was that of underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka, 49, in Bellville South, on March 21, 2011.

Beeka, a former bouncer boss who worked for RAM Hand-to Hand couriers, was rumoured to have worked for the National Intelligence Agency.

Before his murder, Beeka had visited Jerome Booysen, previously named in a court case as the head of the Sexy Boys gang. He was a suspect in Beeka’s murder and linked to club security and businessman Mark Lifman. He was never arrested.

On Thursday, Western Cape Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha told News24 that the two murders were still under investigation. No arrests had been made in either.

Several sources with knowledge of the recent shifts in the underworld said those loyal to the two killed, and who still held grudges, had started ganging up.

Controversial businessmen, including Lifman and Andre Naude, previously ran a nightclub security operation, Specialised Protection Services. It covered the majority of nightclub venues in the Western Cape. It was shut down as it was not registered, as required by law. 

Lifman previously did business with Ulianitski.

Underworld takeovers continue

About two weeks ago, businessman Nafiz Modack was rumoured to be taking over the lucrative club security scene. He was previously linked to an alleged scam involving luxury cars.

He told News24 that to bolster club security operations in Cape Town, he had brought in a group of men from Eastern Europe.

According to sources, those still loyal to Ulianitski joined Modack’s group to take on rivals, who they believed were linked to Ulianitski’s murder.

The underworld takeover was carried out in the early hours of March 31. It started with the new group effectively hijacking security operations.

The previous group was trying to claw its way back in, according to sources. However, some of those loyal to the old group had joined the new group.

One individual, who sources said was instrumental in Beeka’s murder, had joined the very group which supported Beeka. He had turned his back on family and colleagues he had worked with for years.

This, sources say, was to show he was powerful in his own right, because he was the brother of an alleged gang boss, who for long had been considered the more influential brother.

While some sources believed the underworld coup was long in the making, others suspected it was an elaborate scheme, involving police and intelligence operatives, to trip up some of the country’s most prolific underworld players, who also had links to politicians.

Sources said the strange and sudden shake-up in allegiances was an indication that informants may be orchestrating events

Read more on:    cape town  |  gangs  |  crime

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