'Underworld' search outside court after gun case heard

A vehicle which controversial businessman Nafiz Modack and several men were using was searched by police outside the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday. (Caryn Dolley, News24)
A vehicle which controversial businessman Nafiz Modack and several men were using was searched by police outside the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Cape Town - Police officers searched a vehicle linked to controversial businessman Nafiz Modack outside the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday after a case involving an allegedly illegal firearm was heard.

Modack and about four burly men were at the court as Grant Veroni, of the company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, trading as The Security Group (TSG), which has twice before been the target of police and Hawks operations, made an appearance on an illegal possession of a firearm charge.

He was arrested - for the second time in about three months - on Saturday and a firearm was seized.

Earlier this year a new grouping headed by Modack started taking control of nightclub security in Cape Town from a more established grouping.

For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld, see News24's showcase: Underworld Unmasked

Several violent incidents and shootings have played out since the start of the takeover.

After Veroni's court appearance on Monday, Modack and the four men, who positioned themselves around him, walked to the Cape Town Central police station which is alongside the court.

When they left the station, several police officers followed and gathered around a vehicle which was parked outside the court and which they then searched.

The police officers temporarily confiscated this News24 reporter's cellphone saying she was not allowed to photograph what was happening.

Veroni remains in custody

Modack and the men watched as the vehicle was searched.

It is understood the police were looking for firearms.

Afterwards the men and Modack drove away in the car.

In court earlier on Monday, Bruce Hendricks, who heads up Hassan-Harmse Attorneys, represented Veroni, who is to remain in custody and is expected back in the dock next week.

Hendricks said he had opposed the matter being postponed. However, it was.

Also in the dock in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday was Hussain Ait Taleb, a martial arts expert better known in bouncer circles as Hussain Moroccan, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit a murder.

READ: Ex-nightclub security figure arrested for murder conspiracy

A warrant dating back more than a decade and relating to a firearm charge was cancelled during court proceedings.

Taleb plans to apply for bail.

The application was meant to proceed on Monday, but did not as the magistrate recognised Taleb from a previous matter and Hendricks, who represented Taleb, said his client wanted another magistrate to hear the matter.

The bail application may proceed next week.

Taleb was arrested in October and appeared in the same courtroom as Veroni on Monday.

Previous arrests

Veroni and Vincent Phillips, who also works at TSG, were previously arrested in September.

At the time the Hawks said Veroni and Phillips were arrested on charges including fraud and others, under the Firearms Control Act.

A task team, set up by the Hawks to tackle serious threats in the Western Cape, is investigating underworld violence in nightclubs.

On July 12, police seized six shotguns, two handguns and ammunition, from TSG.

In an effort to get these weapons back, TSG approached the Western Cape High Court in August for an urgent order forcing the police to return the firearms. The application was unsuccessful.

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