Lawyer testifies he was warned he would follow in footsteps of slain prominent lawyer Pete Mihalik

Lawyer sheds light on his relationship with alleged underworld crime boss Nafiz Modack.
Lawyer sheds light on his relationship with alleged underworld crime boss Nafiz Modack.

A lawyer who made it clear he was “forced to be here” testified in the trial of alleged underworld crime boss Nafiz Modack and others that he was going to be “Modack's next Pete Mihalik”.

Mihalik was a prominent Cape Town lawyer who was assassinated in Green Point while dropping his children at school on October 29 2018. Shortly after Mihalik’s death, the Sunday Times reported the shooting was arranged by a convicted prisoner from his jail cell at the behest of two alleged Cape Town mafia bosses.

Attorney Gary Newmark, who was subpoenaed and took the witness stand in the Cape Town high court on Monday, said he had acted as a lawyer for a self-confessed hitman known as “Mr A”.

Newmark said “Nafiz was the boss and I took all my instructions from him directly” and had met Mr A on previous occasions along with other associates.

Mr A, who appeared as the first witness in the case, previously told the court that when he was apprehended in September 2019 after being pulled over by police who searched him and found a .38 revolver under his vehicle’s seat, he was taken to the Woodstock police station.

The hitman told the court he called Terrible West Siders gang member and co-accused in the trial Toufeek Brown informing him he had been taken into custody and needed a lawyer.

He told the court Newmark came as per the “big boss’s instructions”.  Mr A paid R1,000 and was released three days after his arrest.

Newmark told the court he would call Modack on what transpired after court proceedings or others who would forward the message.

After Mr A was released, the attorney said Modack told him “you're going to be my next Pete Mihalik”.

The court heard that payments to Newmark were made electronically or in cash and evidence showed EFT payments of about R53,000 made from Empire Investment Cars to Newmark's business account over three months.

He stated he met one of Modack's associates and co-accused Ziyaad Poole at the Crystal Towers or One&Only hotels, however, Poole said he had never met him and his role was limited to being a security detail for Modack.

The other accused are Modack’s brother Yaaseen Modack, former rugby player Zane Kilian, former police anti-gang unit member Ashley Tabisher, Riyaat Gesant, Fagmeed Kelly, Mario Petersen, Jacques Cronje, Petrus Visser, Janick Adonis, Amaal Jantjies, Mogamat Adiel Mukudam and Ricardo Morgan.

Modack and his co-accused face 124 charges, including being part of an alleged “enterprise” run by Modack, unlawful interception of communications, murder, attempted murder, intimidation and kidnapping.


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