REVEALED | The man killed in brazen Randburg hit was alleged Serbian mobster
A homeless Johannesburg man is a key witness to the identities of gunmen who murdered a suspected Serbian national in a drive-by shooting.
The man is said to have witnessed the alleged killers setting their vehicle alight just moments after they shot dead a 46-year-old man - believed to be Serbian mobster Darko Kulic - in lunch time rush hour traffic in Randburg on Tuesday‚ and then fleeing in a white 4x4.
Three independent sources have told TimesLIVE that the man killed in a hail of bullets was Kulic‚ who fought in the paramilitary group‚ the Serbian Guard‚ during the Yugoslavian civil war in the 1990s before allegedly becoming involved in international drug trafficking.
Police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele refused to comment on the identity of the dead man‚ or the identity of those who were driving with him when he was attacked. He said the motive for the killing was unknown and that no arrests had been made.
Asked about a witness who saw the alleged gunmen fleeing the burning vehicle Makhubela said: "We are following up on information and certain leads."
He declined to comment further on the investigation saying that it was at a "sensitive stage".
The Serbian Embassy in South Africa failed to respond to request for comment on the killing.
Tuesday's gunmen allegedly used a Mercedes-Benz to force Kulic - who was driving in his BMW X5 with a woman‚ believed to be his wife‚ Gordana Markovic‚ and an elderly man - to stop as they drove along President Fouche Road.
Tuesday's attack occurred when gunmen allegedly used a Mercedes-Benz to force their victim‚ believed to be Kulic - who was driving in a BMW X5 with a woman thought to be his wife‚ Gordana Markovic‚ and an elderly man - to stop as they were driving along President Fouche Drive.
The gunmen riddled the BMW with automatic gunfire‚ killing Kulic and critically injuring Markovic. The other passenger‚ according to police‚ escaped with minor injuries.
Kulic's murder comes two months after fellow Serbian national Milan "Miki" Djuricic was gunned down in Randburg's Strijdom Park in a similar drive-by shooting.
Police are investigating whether the murder of Djuricic - who was wanted for the killing of Serbian warlord Zeljko "Arkan" Razatovic in 2000 - can be linked to the death of State Security Agency [SSA] agent Gorgi "George" Darmanovic.
Darmanovic‚ who reportedly had information on Djuricic's killers‚ was shot dead in Belgrade while waiting to meet a contact. It's believed he was to pass on the information on Djruricic killers. An intelligence source‚ with knowledge of all three cases‚ said it was understood that Kulic‚ who was associated with Djuricic‚ had given the order for Darmanovic to be killed.
"George's associates found out about this and Tuesday happened‚” the source said.
Nafiz Modack‚ who was friends with Darmanovic‚ said he would respond to a request for comment from Times Select‚ but failed to.
Intelligence sources say that possible links between Djuricic‚ Darmanovic and now Kulic's murders are now being investigated‚ with the SSA assisting police in the investigation of Kulic’s and Djuricic's murders.
Asked if the SSA was assisting the SAPS in their investigations into the murders‚ SSA spokesman Brian Dube said crimes of murder were the exclusive domain of the police.
"The SSA may assist if required to‚” he said.
Dube added: “SSA has never confirmed any claimed association with the person referred to as its agent [Darmanovic].”
The Mercedes-Benz and automatic rifle‚ allegedly used in Kulic's murder‚ were discovered by security guards from BCI Security.
The company’s spokesman Gary Jordaan said one of their reaction officers was on patrol in the Weltevreden Park and Allensnek areas when a woman stopped him to report a car on fire in a burning field.
"Our officers discovered a Mercedes-Benz alight in the field. Once the fire‚ which melted parts of the car‚ was out‚ the officers discovered a partially destroyed semi-automatic rifle on the backseat behind the driver's seat."
He said those who had started the fire had also started a fire in the veld to stop anyone getting near the car.
"A homeless man who lives in the veld described how two white men had run away from the car towards a white 4x4 which was waiting nearby. The 4x4 was driven off in the direction Northgate shopping centre."
Jordaan said their officers were among the first on the scene of the shooting. He said the driver's wife was critically injured when she was shot in the head and taken to a nearby hospital.
Asked about the nationality of the dead driver and whether it was Kulic‚ Jordaan said he could not speak about it as "the case is sensitive".
Serbian The Telegraf journalist‚ Milos Lazic‚ said the reports were that Kulic was killed in the shooting. He said Kulic‚ who had been part of the Serbian Guard paramilitary force‚ had served 12 years imprisonment for murder of a rival mobster‚ Goran Bojovic‚ and two of his gang members.
Lazic said that Kulic had also been involved in drug trafficking.