Underworld suspect Modack off the hook in Joburg extortion case

Suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack faces one less legal hurdle as an attempted extortion charge against him has been withdrawn. (Caryn Dolley, News24)
Suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack faces one less legal hurdle as an attempted extortion charge against him has been withdrawn. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack faces one less legal hurdle as an attempted extortion charge against him, relating to alleged happenings in Johannesburg, has been withdrawn.

This is the third case that has been withdrawn against him in roughly four months. He still faces an extortion charge in a Cape Town case along with four co-accused.

Modack, who is based in Cape Town, had initially faced an extortion charge in the Johannesburg matter along with veteran bouncer Jacques Cronje.

The extortion charge was later changed to attempted extortion. However, it was withdrawn on Wednesday morning in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg.

Attorney Bruce Hendricks confirmed to News24 on Wednesday that the charge had been withdrawn against Modack and Cronje.

Both of them still face an extortion charge in the Cape Town case along with Colin Booysen, who is the brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen, as well as Ashley Fields and Carl Lakay, for allegedly forcing security operations on those running the establishment The Grand Africa Café and Beach.

For a detailed breakdown on what has happened in the underlying nightclub security takeover, see News24’s showcase Underworld Unmasked

The matter is expected to resume in the Cape Town Regional Court at the end of May.

Cronje also faces other charges in other cases, including one relating to cocaine.

In the bail application in the Cape Town extortion case, which played out in the magistrate's court between December 2017 and the end of February 2018, the State had included a statement by Vincent Saunders, a detective warrant officer stationed at Gauteng's provincial investigating unit focusing on serious crimes.

Saunders’ statement indicated that, in December 2017, he received an enquiry relating to intimidation, extortion and death threats.

The manager of an establishment, The Grand in Sandton, had opened a case.

READ: We will burn this place down - How Modack allegedly tried to take over Gauteng clubs

Saunders alleged Cronje had contacted the owner saying he and Modack wanted to take over security there, but was told that the venue already had security in place.

Cronje then allegedly started harassing the manager and owner and sent them threatening SMSes, saying they would burn down The Grand.

Saunders also alleged Modack called the manager and yelled: "Phillips you must get your fucking boere ready with their guns. We are on our way and there [are] going to be fireworks."

The Phillips he was referring to was Andre Phillips, the owner of The Grand.

Modack and Cronje were arrested for this Johannesburg case while in custody for the Cape Town extortion case.

During the bail application in the Johannesburg case, the prosecutor said that Cronje tried to extort half of Phillips' business, which was worth R20m, by threatening to expose Phillips' alleged links to the murder of Teazers boss Lolly Jackson.

Jackson was shot dead at his Kempton Park home in May 2010.

Cronje allegedly received this information from Czech criminal Radovan Krejcir.

READ ALSO: Robbery case against underworld figure Modack withdrawn

In January, Modack and a relative had also been charged with car theft in a Cape Town case which was later withdrawn in the Bellville Magistrate's Court.

Modack and 12 other men were arrested in the winelands town of Worcester on November 28 on charges of business robbery and assault relating to a debt collection.

This case was also withdrawn in December.

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