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Public Sector Manager - - Contents - Writer: Al­bert Pule

An­gelique Ser­rao's Kre­j­cir: Busi­ness As Usual ex­poses the bizarre un­der­world of jailed gang­ster Radovan Kre­j­cir

To his un­der­lings he was known as “Baas John” .To South African law en­force­ment he was an elu­sive and dan­ger­ous mafia boss.

In Kre­j­cir: Busi­ness as Usual, News24 investigative jour­nal­ist An­gelique Ser­rao tells the story of Czech fugi­tive Radovan Kre­j­cir who ar­rived in South Africa 10 years ago un­der a false pass­port. Ser­rao is an award-win­ning writer who has been cov­er­ing Kre­j­cir since 2010 – and his tale is far, far stranger than fic­tion.

He was a fugi­tive, a pow­er­ful Czech mul­ti­mil­lion­aire who es­caped im­pris­on­ment on fraud charges and fled to the good life in the Sey­chelles. But a bid by the Czech Repub­lic to have him ex­tra­dited saw Kre­j­cir com­ing to South Africa. He was ar­rested at the air­port, but an al­leged bribe kept him in the coun­try.

That was the start of his deal­ings in the un­der­world. He bought a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand prop­erty in the af­flu­ent sub­urb of Bed­ford­view in east­ern Jo­han­nes­burg. Close by was a restau­rant called the Har­bour, where he would meet friends, busi­ness as­so­ciates, po­lice of­fi­cers, vic­tims and en­e­mies.

Soon bod­ies started pil­ing up around him. Cyril Beeka, a well-known Capeto­nian and friend of Kre­j­cir, was as­sas­si­nated af­ter his car stopped at a ro­bot.The mur­der sent shock­waves through the crim­i­nal un­der­world, par­tic­u­larly in Cape Town.

One of the more dra­matic events was a bizarre movie-style shoot-out when a car fit­ted with a re­volv­ing ma­chine gun fired on the gang­ster. Later, Kre­j­cir's Money Point pawn shop in Bed­ford­view was blown up by a bomb left in­side a bag, killing two as­so­ciates.

Over the next three years 10 more deaths took place, each one more dra­matic than the next. It was the mur­der of Lolly Jack­son that brought Kre­j­cir's name into the lime­light and re­vealed his deal­ing with crime in­tel­li­gence boss Joey Mabasa and small-time crim­i­nal Ge­orge Louka.

Kre­j­cir was ar­rested. But in true Radovan Kre­j­cir style, he was plot­ting an elab­o­rate es­cape from prison. This po­lice foiled, as well as his plans to kill foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tor Paul O'Sul­li­van and a po­lice gen­eral.

He has since been found guilty and sen­tenced for kid­nap­ping, at­tempted mur­der and at­tempted drug pos­ses­sion.

In the book, Ser­rao cap­tures the of­ten un­be­liev­able se­quence of events in a sim­ple, un­der­stand­able way. Read­ers from Gaut­eng will also find they are fa­mil­iar with places men­tioned in the book.

At un­der 290 pages this is a riv­et­ing read about a stranger from a lit­tle-known Euro­pean coun­try who wreaked havoc in South Africa. If you are into tales from the un­der­world, this book is for you.

Kre­j­cir: Busi­ness as Usual by An­gelique Ser­rao is pub­lished by Jonathan Ball Pub­lish­ers.

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