- Nafiz Modack, a police officer and one other suspect appeared in court in a massive gun licence fraud case.
- Modack was granted bail of R10 000 and has to report to the Bothasig police station in Cape Town three times a week.
- A police sergeant and one other were also granted bail in the case which involves at least nine cops.
Underworld figure Nafiz Modack and two co-accused appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Wednesday as part of a massive Western Cape Anti-Gang-Unit crackdown into alleged gun licence fraud involving 21 suspects so far.
Modack was arrested on Youth Day on Tuesday and was granted R10 000 bail. In terms of his bail conditions, he has to report to the Bothasig police station in Cape Town three times a week.
In the dock with him were Sergeant Lesiba Rodney Masoga, who was granted R5 000 bail with no conditions, and Anwa Gallie who was granted R10 000 bail. As part of his conditions, Gallie has to report to the Sophiatown police station three times a week.
The three join 13 others who have already appeared in court. Five more were expected to join them at the next court date in July.
An additional five are still wanted by police and arrests are expected shortly.
This comes after an investigation by the Western Cape's Anti-Gang-Unit, headed by Major General Andre Lincoln, into allegations of firearm licence application fraud and corruption since November 2017.
"In January 2018, it was found that several people, including Cape Town underworld figures and their family [and] friends, allegedly obtained their competency certificate/s and firearm licence/s to possess a firearm as well as temporary authorisation to possess a firearm/s in an allegedly wrongful manner," said police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
The gun licence applications were made in Gauteng, mostly in the SA Police Service's Edenvale, Norwood and Kempton Park areas, after "persons of interest" appeared to get gun licences legally.
"The investigations started to reveal, among others that residential addresses were falsified and/or misrepresented on the applications, information regarding the status of applicants were not revealed and mandatory checks by designated firearm officers (DFOs) were not conducted," explained Naidoo.
Police arrests came as a shock
News24 understands that the arrests came as a shock to colleagues of the police officers arrested.
"There was confusion. We didn't know what was happening," one colleague told News24.
Details only started emerging after the initial court cases revealed that charges were related to firearm licences, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.
In his statement, Naidoo said the application forms for the firearm licences were allegedly not signed by the applicants. The motivations and character witness testimonials required to be allowed to possess a gun had also not been signed.
However, these licences were recommended by the DFOs and were forwarded to members of the provincial Firearms, Liquor and Second-Hand Goods Services, known as FLASH, and then eventually the Central Firearm Registry where they would be approved.
Investigators believed they had enough evidence to get warrants of arrest issued for at least 21 people.
The swoops began on 5 June, days after the country's Level 3 lockdown started.
Those arrested so far, as named by the police, are:
- Brigadier Hlamalane Lettie Matshene Pretoria (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Lieutenant Colonel Moshato Alfred Moloto, Pretoria (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Sehati Semono, Pretoria (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Lieutenant Colonel Nonhlanhla Gladys Skosana, Kempton Park (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Captain Khulekani Samuel Mncube, Pretoria (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Sergeant Koena Welheminah Nkoana, Norwood (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Sergeant Lesiba Rodney Masoga, Norwood (arrested 16/06/2020)
- Sergeant Matseleng Emily Mokwena, Edenvale (arrested 11/06/2020)
- Ex-Colonel Selo Solomon Motau, formerly from Pretoria (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Ex-Constable MB Chokoe, Kempton Park (arrested 10/06/2020)
- Abdullah Mehtar (Acapulco Sports and Guns Owner) (arrested 14/06/2020)
- Mahomed Riaz Moosa (Acapulco Sports and Guns Owner) (arrested 14/06/2020)
- Yaaseen Modack (applicant) (arrested 05/06/2020)
- Nafiz Modack (applicant) (arrested 16/06/2020)
- Abdulaliem Ismail (applicant) (arrested 05/06/2020)
- Anwa Gallie (applicant) (arrested 16/06/2020)
According to Acapulco Sports and Guns' website, they provide a wide range of firearms and accessories at their Kempton Park shop.
'You will be caught'
The accused, together with another five people, will appear in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on 10 July 2020, Naidoo said.
Those five were arrested earlier this month, Naidoo said.
Police are still searching for a further five suspects.
National police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole applauded the team for their perseverance.
"The most effective way of dealing with corruption is to prevent it and in order to do this, I am urging both members of the SAPS as well as the community at large to refrain from engaging in such activities – because you will be caught", said Sitole.