'Underworld' security company director granted bail

2017-12-22 12:31
Magistrate's court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrate's court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A Moroccan kickboxing champion, who is also the director of a security company which has surfaced as being central to alleged underworld activities, has been granted bail in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. 

He faces a conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Hussain Ait Taleb, 49, a martial arts expert better known in bouncer circles as Hussain Moroccan, was granted R5 000 bail on Friday morning.

The charges against him stem from allegations that he contracted two individuals to carry out a hit on a club owner who refused to pay him protection money.

Taleb was arrested in his Milnerton home on October 8 and had been in custody since then.

READ: R20 000 offered for club owner's murder, court hears in underworld case

During court proceedings in the matter on Tuesday, Sergeant Edward Edwardes, testified that Taleb was a director of the Bellville-based company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, which trades as The Security Group (TSG).

He had testified that another director of TSG was Grant Veroni, who faces charges of fraud and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

A third director of the company, Edwardes had said, was a niece of alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome "Donkie" Booysen.

Edwardes testified that said TSG was being used to carry out a nightclub security takeover.

Late in 2016 a new grouping, headed by controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, started taking over the nightclub security business from a more established grouping.

This takeover has resulted in violence, shootings and several arrests.

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

Modack was arrested last Friday, December 15, along with Colin Booysen - Jerome "Donkie" Booysen's brother - Jacques Cronje, James de Jager, Ashley Fields, Mathys Visser and Carl Lakay.

Their cases, most of which involve extortion charges, were postponed to December 27 for bail applications in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

During Taleb's bail application on Tuesday, Edwardes detailed how TSG fit into underworld operations.

He said the company approached nightclub and restaurant owners and forced them to use its security services.

"If the company doesn't want to use the services of TSG, there will be individuals sent to the establishment," Edwardes testified.

"In extreme cases like this one there will be hits taken out on owners who do not comply with the request of TSG."

He said Taleb had been tasked with collecting protection money and was called if there was any trouble at clubs in the Cape Town city centre.

"He is the two or three times Moroccan world champion kick boxer. He knows how to enforce maximum force on a person," Edwardes testified. 

"He's actually a weapon by himself."

Taleb was represented in court by Keith Gess, of the law firm Mathewson Gess Attorneys, and Bruce Hendricks of Hassen-Harmse Attorneys.

Gess on Thursday argued that there was no evidence to support the murder conspiracy theory, other than the words of Taleb's alleged co-conspirators.

In court on Tuesday it emerged that the pair who were allegedly contracted to kill the club owner had first provided another name when referring to the person they were allegedly meant to murder.

Later, they divulged a second name, which was not made known in court.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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