High drama in Cape Town court as alleged underworld figures line up in the dock

Gavel in front of judge
Gavel in front of judge

The fiery bail hearing of the seven men alleged to be the masterminds of the deadly takeover of the Cape Town nightclub security racket started on Wednesday.

A contingent of top Cape Town criminal lawyers filled the court room along with dozens of undercover police officers and friends and family members of the accused men who included Nafiz Modack and Colin Booysen‚ younger brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang boss‚ Jerome “Donkie” Booysen.

SAPS Major-General Jeremy Veary - whose ‘Operation Combat’ team was responsible for the arrests - was also present in court‚ flanked by high ranking police officers.

Representing Booysen‚ advocate Pete Mihalik started proceedings by asking acting Cape Town magistrate Selwin Africa to recuse himself from the bail hearing.

Mihalik said that this was because Africa had previously denied bail in a similar case but that the decision was overturned on appeal and that there was a “conflict of interest”.

“Clearly your worship had misdirected yourself and the applicant got bail‚” he said.

He also asked Africa whether state advocate Adiel Jansen had consulted him before court to “orchestrate a postponement”.

This resulted in outrage by Jansen who went as far as threatening personal litigation because Mihalik was attempting to “cast aspersions” on him.

“I have not approached your worship in chambers. He mustn’t cast aspersions like that. I take exception to that! It is between the state‚ whom I represent‚ and the accused‚ whom their legal council represents. It mustn’t be a personal matter‚” he said.

Modack‚ Booysen‚ Jacques Cronje‚ Carl Lakay‚ Ashley Fields‚ Matthys Visser‚ and James De Jager are all being charged with extortion‚ it is believed‚ in connection with an apparent “disagreement” over a “security contract” at The Grand Cafe in Greenpoint.

The men were all arrested two weeks ago at their homes.

The bail hearing will continue on Thursday when a different magistrate is expected to hear the case.

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