Alleged underworld kingpin and controversial Cape Town businessman Nafiz Modack says he has faith in the country's justice system as he mourns his lawyer and close friend, advocate Pete Mihalik. He also says he will cooperate with authorities to get those responsible for Mihalik's murder behind bars.
Modack has broken his silence on the shooting which took the life of the prominent criminal lawyer last week.
Mihalik, 50, was shot dead in his car outside Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school in Greenpoint while dropping his children off. His son, 8, was wounded in the attack and is being treated in hospital.
It's believed that over the past two years, Mihalik had found himself in the middle of an apparent fight between two underworld factions in Cape Town. On the one side is Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman and security boss Andre Naude, along with alleged Sexy Boys leader Jerome "Donkie" Booysen. On the other is Modack, veteran bouncer Jacques Cronje and another Booysen brother, Colin. Mihalik represented Modack and his associates.
In a press release issued through a media manager, Modack asked for privacy and explained that he had made the decision to decline all interviews about his "dear friend".
"I do understand that I have been exposed to public scrutiny these past two years, more so during my bail application (December 2017 – February 2018) and preparations pertaining to my upcoming trial in the Western Cape Regional Court this Monday, November 12, 2018. I [respectfully] ask for privacy in order to come to terms with what has transpired and pay tribute to not only the head of my legal counsel, but someone who was a dear friend too.
Suspected taxi industry link
"My thoughts and prayers are with the immediate family, the speedy recovery of his amazing son, colleagues and each and every person who has been affected by this gruesome act. I have complete faith in our justice system and will cooperate in any way, if it would assist in resolving and charging the relevant parties who have instructed and/or carried out this particular crime," says the businessman.
Modack, Colin, Cronje, Ashley Fields and Carl Lakay were arrested in December last year, accused of running an extortion racket. It was also alleged they were operating a security service while not being registered with the proper authorities.
During their lengthy bail application earlier this year, extensive details emerged including allegations of police corruption. Modack has also been accused of being an official police source after photos emerged of him meeting with high-ranking cops.
Their trial is due to get underway next week and it's believed Mihalik's murder may have been related to this case. However, Police Minister Bheki Cele has said publicly that the advocate's execution was linked to the taxi industry.
Sizwe Sinzokohle Biyela, 26, and Nkosinathi Khumalo, 31, have been charged for the "premeditated" murder. They have also been charged with attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition. They will appear in court again on Thursday.