Five men accused of extorting money from a Cape Town nightclub had their bail conditions relaxed on Tuesday.
Nafiz Modack‚ Colin Booysen‚ Ashley Fields‚ Jacques Cronje and Carl Lakay are no longer required to report to the police‚ the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court ruled.
Earlier this year the state unsuccessfully argued that the men‚ said to be running one of the largest extortion rackets in Cape Town‚ were a danger to society and should not be granted bail.
The men’s trial was postponed until July 27 after the prosecution said investigating officers were awaiting cellphone data.
A large contingent of bodyguards accompanied the men to court‚ and Modack claims a business rival has placed a R200-million bounty on his head. Earlier this year‚ the prosecution told the court that Modack’s group had placed a price on the head of the then prosecutor in the case‚ Esna Erasmus‚ as well as on investigating officer Colonel Charl Kinnear and Western Cape head of detectives Major-General Jeremy Vearey.
It is understood that sentenced prisoners are expected to present witness testimony in the matter against Modack.
During the group’s bail hearing‚ Kinnear testified about the ongoing war for control over Cape Town nightclubs through protection rackets.
Several people have been killed by professional hitmen‚ and on Monday two men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court for the murder of “steroid king” Brian Wainstein. He was executed in his heavily fortified Constantia home last year while sleeping alongside his partner and child.
Brothers Matthew and Sheldon Breet are alleged to have played a role in Wainstein’s murder and are charged with housebreaking and premeditated murder planned and committed “in the furtherance of a common purpose or conspiracy”.
The brothers were once close associates of Wainstein‚ who was wanted in the US for “flooding” that country with steroids. He was fighting an extradition case at the time of his arrest.
Before his death‚ Wainstein was arrested with 12 uncut diamonds in his possession after he was stopped by police in Cape Town‚ while driving a black SUV without number plates. He was released from Cape Town Central police station the night before he was due to appear in court‚and the case did not go ahead
The state alleged that the brothers were involved in conflict between Modack and Mark Lifman. Matthew Breet was also implicated in a plot to blow up a vehicle‚ it said.
“Also‚ while released on warning for assault he was implicated in the possession of firearms which the police have linked to a plot to perpetrate violence in the ongoing conflict between organised players in the club security industry‚” said the heads of argument.
They also said Sheldon Breet pointed out a container of unlicensed ammunition to investigators at the time of his arrest.
Menigo quoted an affidavit made by the investigating officer in the case which said contract killings had reached “alarming” proportions in the Western Cape‚ “especially those linked to the high prevalence of organised crime and criminal gang-related crime in this region”.
BY ARON HYMAN – TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital