Violent brawl as underworld 'coup' is carried out in Cape Town

2017-03-30 17:44
The scene outside a nightclub in Cape Town (YouTube screengrab)

The scene outside a nightclub in Cape Town (YouTube screengrab)

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Cape Town - A ruthless coup has turned the Cape's underworld upside down, with one group forcibly starting to take control of the nightclub security business following a massive brawl between rivals.

News24 understands the fighting started at an auction site in the northern suburbs on Wednesday morning and quickly escalated, leading to a businessman and his allies taking over security operations at a well-known city centre strip club shortly before midnight.

The group that took over the club is said to be linked to a notorious convict based in Johannesburg.

Some of the Western Cape's most controversial business figures, including Mark Lifman and Andre Naude, have confirmed to News24 that they were present when fighting broke out in a residential area earlier on Wednesday.

The businessman apparently at the centre of the friction, Nafiz Modack, who was previously linked to an alleged scam involving luxury cars and whose LinkedIn profile says he works at Protection Services International, on Thursday replied to emailed questions from News24.

"I did warn them u wana take wats mine il take wats yours 2nyt an I dun just that, im no gangster im a businessman and only fear god no one else [sic]," he said.

Mounting tension

Tensions apparently started mounting on Wednesday morning in Richwood, where a property of Modack's went under the hammer.

A source with intimate knowledge of what happened told News24 that the property was being auctioned off as part of a voluntary sequestration process.

However, the source said that because a buyer had already been found, the auction was not meant to go ahead. However, it did.

Modack, the source said, then went to the property to try and iron out the matter. The source said Lifman was there and this was when tension between the two started mounting.

A second property of Modack's was later auctioned off in Parow. The source said this was where things became violent. Lifman, Naude and several other men were there.

Sources have said that Modack tried to intimidate and threaten those at the auction.

But in the emailed response to News24, from the address listed on Modack's LinkedIn profile, he dismissed this.

"I deny the allegation to scare off any buyers and cause any disruptions," he said.

Modack said he had been at the auction as he planned to purchase the property.

"I saw [there] were about 50 people with [Lifman]," he said.

"I walked up sole [sic] alone to stop the auctioneer."

Street fight

A fight then apparently broke out in the street, with a group of men trying to force Modack to leave.

An alleged gangster, the brother of another suspected gang leader, was said to have also been present with a group of roughly 50 men.

A bodyguard, according to Modack, tried to smack the alleged gangster and a gun was also pointed at him.

Modack said at this point the alleged gangster, whom he named, told the gunman to "shoot".

"An that wen all my guys jump in on self defence and [the alleged gangster's] 50 guys [sic]."

The brawl, according to several sources, ended up with firearms being drawn and men being stabbed.

Modack said bodyguards, who worked for Lifman, ran bleeding from the scene.

He referred further queries to his lawyer Pete Mihalik.

Mihalik, who also represents others who were at the scene, including Lifman, declined to comment on the matter.

Lifman and Naude said they had not been injured.


Sources said that Naude, who was wearing flip-flops, left the shoes at the scene.

A photograph of the flip-flops was sent to News24 and sources said rivals of Naude planned to frame them.

Naude did not immediately reply when asked if the sandals were indeed his.

A source said that after the brawl in Parow a group of men decided to take control of the lucrative nightclub security industry.

They went to the city centre strip club on Wednesday night and tried to force their way in.

This is apparently what Modack was referring to when he said he warned "them" that he would take what was theirs if they took what was his.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the incident outside the strip club.

"Police were called to attend a complaint outside at the address regarding alleged patrons that wanted to enter the club, but were not allowed to enter," she said.

"The problem was resolved."

News24 understands security staff at the establishment were fired, then rehired by their previous employer's rivals.

Sources said retaliation, in the form of violence, was expected.

Read more on:    mark lifman  |  cape town  |  crime

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