Krejcir runner describes meeting ‘taxi boss hitman’
THE first time Lyubomir Borislavov Grigorov met Czech underworld kingpin Radovan Krejcir, he was in the middle of a business deal involving two jet engines.
Grigorov, a Bulgarian otherwise known to his friends as “Boris or “Mike”, was looking for work. Grigorov couldn’t quite remember the date of the meeting: late 2011, maybe 2012, but he remembers the location.
The Harbour Restaurant at the Bedford Centre had been Krejcir’s haunt for years while he ran his gold and diamond-exchange shop, Money Point, a few kilometres down the road. Grigorov’s friend Alex had brought him word of the two engines he was trying to unload on Krejcir.
The outcome of the deal remains unexplained in Grigorov’s recent testimony against Krejcir, but it does reveal his first impression of the larger-than-life suspected mob boss.
At first Grigorov was allegedly hired to take Krejcir’s many cars for servicing, renewing of license discs and the occasional errand. For months the runner would go to the restaurant to meet Krejcir and rose in the level of trust Krejcir had in him. He said he had been told to quit his job running foreign exchange services at casinos across Gauteng as better opportunities were on the way.
Eastern European contacts would also reportedly visit the restaurant in their dealings with Krejcir, including Bassam “Sam” Issa, the alleged Bedfordview drug dealer whose gruesome killing is at the centre of Krejcir’s murder trial. Issa and Krejcir were friendly at first, according to Grigorov.
Grigorov said he met Krejcir’s co-accused through his time at Money Point. Mfaniseni Memela, Nkanyiso Mafunda and Siboniso Miya had all allegedly visited the business at various times, with Memela introduced as a “taxi boss hitman”. However, it was Miya who made the most appearances, also a runner for Krejcir.
Sometime in early 2013, Miya was apparently asked to take a white Ford Ranger – the vehicle believed to be used in Issa’s killing – to have blue lights and a siren installed. Grigorov said he had handed over the R20 000 to pay for the modifications. Only months later self-confessed hitman and robber, Lucky Mokoena – also now a state witness – entered the picture. Grigorov believed Mokoena had been introduced to Krejcir by convicted drugdealer, Glenn Agliotti, though Agliotti has since denied any knowledge of this.
Mokoena had allegedly been brought in after a series of arguments between Issa and Krejcir.
The first was at the Harbour Restaurant, where Issa reportedly asked Krejcir to pay back the R500 000 he owed to him. After a heated argument, Grigorov said Issa had refused to pay his bill and left, with Krejcir telling Grigorov that if Issa did not stop “making noise” about the money, his life would be at stake.
Later, Issa allegedly arrived at Money Point and took a Versace bracelet from manager Ivan Savov with the intention of keeping it until he was paid. Krejcirhad been at the office at the time and warned Issa not to involve his business in a personal loan. Clearly wary, Issa returned the bracelet. A few days later, Issa was in another meeting with Krejcir.
Grigorov said Krejcir told Issa the R500 000 was “small change”, and that is was unnecessary to pay it back. By July 24, 2013, it seemed Issa was insulted. As Krejcir was walking through the Money Point parking lot, an automated machine gun hidden behind the license plate of a Red Polo Cross let off a spray of bullets, narrowly missing the Czech.
“(Krejcir) told me that he is going to use all of his connections to get to the bottom of who tried to kill him,” said Grigorov. He had apparently used his connections at the Germiston Organised Crime Unit, a Colonel Francois Steyn, who later was proven to have taken a loan from Krejcir to track down who had commissioned the assassination device. All signs pointed to Issa.
Mokoena was allegedly tasked with killing Issa, but failed. Grigorov said another plan involved Krejcir’s thenbarely adult son Denis and his girlfriend Marlene Navar, who were asked to lure Issa to a club in Sandton for a hit. But Krejcir was told the police presence in the area was too high.
On the morning of October 12, Grigorov said he got a call from Savov saying Issa had been killed after a part – shot dead just a few streets away from Money Point. When Grigorov said when he called Krejcir the following morning about this, all Krejcir said was: “Okay. You must get ready and come open the shop.”
There, Miya allegedly bragged about how he, Memela and Mafunda had trailed Issa after he had left the party, opening fire on his Audi Q7 using his own stolen AK-47 and an R5 rifle.
The above article was compiled using months of testimony at Krejcir’s murder trial, in between dozens of postponements and court applications. The events as described are from Grigorov’s perspective.
Radovan Krejcir in the high court in Johannesburg.