Cape Town - Two high-ranking police officers have held meetings with alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack who is heading up a faction taking over nightclub security as an underworld turf war over this escalates.
On Thursday night, News24 witnessed Modack and Northern Cape provincial police commissioner Risimati Shivuri sitting together and talking in an upmarket hotel near the V&A Waterfront.
It is not clear what they were discussing.
Well-placed sources with intimate knowledge of the situation have also claimed that acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Patrick Mbotho has met with Modack at least twice over matters relating to a vehicle and firearms.
Mbotho has denied this.
Police underworld involvement
Several sources with links to policing and the underworld believe the shift in the club security industry has been orchestrated by police and informants trying to take down key underworld players.
The State Security Agency has previously denied this.
But rumours of police, Hawks and Crime Intelligence officers' involvement in the underworld shift have persisted.
Modack was previously linked to an alleged scam involving luxury cars.
His LinkedIn profile said he worked at Protection Services International.
Modack is said to be heading a new faction which is effectively hijacking the control of club security from an older, more established grouping.
The friction between the two groupings has resulted in violence: Late on Thursday a woman was wounded in a popular Loop Street nightclub and on April 17 two men were wounded in a shooting in Café Caprice in Camps Bay.
Modack and Shivuri, who was previously based in the Western Cape, met hours before the Loop Street shooting happened.
On Friday, an employee at Shivuri's Northern Cape office said he was in Cape Town and therefore unavailable for comment.
The employee would not provide his cellphone number.
There was no reply to an email query sent to the Northern Cape police's media office.
Acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane's office did not respond to queries on the matter by the time of publication.
Asked via email about the meeting with Shivuri, Modack did not deny it.
Instead he replied: "I don't think I need to explain to anY ONE who I meet or why! I meet lotsa people all the time would you like to no WHO THEY ARE ASWELL [sic]."
Modack then sent an email headed "WE HAVE EYES EVERY WHR [sic]."
Accompanied was a photograph of the News24 journalist at the hotel where he had the meeting with Shivuri on Thursday night.
Modack later apologised for this having come across as threatening.
When it came to Mbotho, sources claimed that in September, 2016, Mbotho met Modack about a Mercedes Benz that Modack wanted released after it was impounded and kept in Bellville.
The vehicle, the sources say, was eventually released to Modack.
They also alleged Mbotho and Modack met after several firearms were confiscated by police from men linked to the new underworld grouping who gathered outside a city strip club on April 21.
This meeting is said to have been about the confiscated firearms, which on Friday were returned to security companies after they launched an urgent application in the High Court.
The sources said the brother of the alleged gang boss had been present at this meeting.
But Brigadier Novela Potelwa, speaking on Mbotho's behalf, said Mbotho and Modack had met once and this had nothing to do with firearms.
"This serves to confirm that the gentleman referred to in your email [Modack] was in Major-General Mbotho's office in connection with a complaint he had against the police," she said.
"During the meeting, it transpired that the nature of complaint fell outside the jurisdiction of the SAPS Western Cape and he was subsequently referred to the office of the judge of [the Hawks].
"In as far as firearms are concerned, Major-General Mbotho bears no knowledge of an engagement with the two gentlemen cited in your email."