Sunday Times

Inside a gang boss’s world of fear

Claims of corruption as Modack tried for calling hit on lawyer

- By ARON HYMAN

● Bumbling gangsters, star-crossed lovers, cellphone stalking, a foiled grenade attack and corrupt cops …

It has all the ingredient­s of a Hollywood action movie, and it’s playing out in Cape Town courts.

Alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack’s court appearance on Friday — his third this week — brought a city block to a standstill around the Cape Town magistrate’s court.

Modack was arrested on Thursday last week by members of a police national task team following a high-speed chase through the streets of Century View in Cape Town.

Now he stands accused of plotting the attempted murder of Cape Town lawyer William Booth and, in a separate case, of orchestrat­ing a bizarre plot to bomb the home of Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) section commander Lt-Col Charl Kinnear with the help of an Elsies River woman, Amaal Jantjies.

The alleged grenade attack was foiled when Jantjies was arrested outside Kinnear’s Bishop Lavis home in November 2019.

Kinnear was shot dead a year later outside his home. The shooter remains unknown, but former rugby player Zane Kilian has been charged with Kinnear’s murder, conspiracy to commit murder and contraveni­ng the Electronic Communicat­ions and Transactio­ns Act.

The charges are based on the alleged pinging of Kinnear’s phone and forwarding to a third party the XDS reports and identity photos of Kinnear and his wife Nicolette, in

April 2020.

According to the state, the plan to kill Booth dates to March last year when Modack and his co-accused, right-hand man Jacques Cronjé, kidnapped foreign exchange trader and investor Sameer Vallie during an illicit debt collection on behalf of a third party.

Ricardo Morgan and Kilian are also charged for their alleged involvemen­t in the incident after Modack allegedly forced Vallie to deposit R90,000 of a R600,000 debt they said he owed a third party, into Kilian’s bank account. Charges against them include kidnapping, extortion, intimidati­on, moneylaund­ering and contravent­ion of the Electronic Communicat­ions Act when they allegedly pinged Vallie’s phone three times from March 11 to acquire his location.

But it was when Booth became involved in helping Vallie to secure a protection order against Cronje and in opening extortion cases against Modack that the lawyer found himself at odds with Modack.

The state alleges that between March and September last year, Modack pinged Booth’s phone 658 times.

In April, three hit men made two botched attempts to shoot Booth at his Oranjezich­t home. In the first attempt they went to the wrong address.

In the second attempt, Terrible West Siders gang hit man Ebrahim Deare smoked mandrax and got so high he fell into a hole, injuring his leg and sending him to hospital.

The hit men later fired five shots at Booth while he was standing next to his garage. He was not hit.

Deare and fellow gang members Riyaan Gesant and Kauthar Brown entered into plea agreements with the state, and were sentenced last week to between five and 15 years, some of which was suspended.

Booth, just like murdered lawyers Peter Mihalik — who represente­d Modack in his extortion trial before he was murdered in

2018 — and Noorudien Hassan, is believed to be a victim in the war being waged between underworld factions, whose gang bosses perceive lawyers as being in the trenches with their clients.

Hassan, who was linked to some of the province’s most high-profile gang cases, was shot several times while in a car outside his Lansdowne home in November 2016.

As one lawyer put it: “It used to be you could represent anyone and even these gangsters and the police would understand, but now that’s just not the case any more.”

The perception­s are in part fuelled, certain lawyers said, by profession­al rivalries and grudges.

On Monday, Modack is expected to appear in the Bishop Lavis magistrate’s court, where he faces charges relating to the November 22 2019 grenade plot against Kinnear.

The case has already started playing out in the Parow regional court where Modack’s co-accused, Jantjies, has testified and come under cross-examinatio­n in her bail bid.

The state alleges that during October 2019 Jantjies and her lover Janick Adonis were helping the AGU in exchange for either help in securing bail or in getting a mitigated sentence for Adonis, a gang member who was on trial for attempted murder.

The state says the couple met AGU commander Lt-Gen Andre Lincoln and other AGU members. In court it emerged that during one of their meetings the grenade plot came up as a method to trap Modack.

The state says Lincoln abandoned the idea, and says the AGU never helped Adonis secure a mitigated sentence.

From here the state and Jantjies’ versions diverge. The state alleges Jantjies then made contact with Modack, offering to help him infiltrate the AGU in exchange for his assistance in securing Adonis’s freedom.

Jantjies, it is alleged, corrupted three AGU members, including Sgt Ashley Tabisher, who was arrested last Sunday and will appear alongside Modack in court tomorrow.

Other AGU members allegedly warned Modack every time AGU teams went to raid his properties to look for him.

Modack also allegedly used Jantjies to plan five attempts on Kinnear’s life in 2019, culminatin­g in the eventual grenade plot.

But Jantjies alleged this was all part of a plan hatched by the AGU to trap Modack.

Modack’s rival, bouncer boss Andre Naude, told the Sunday Times Modack’s life was in danger. “There are a lot of people who need answers, only he has the answers. Now I see he’s being sent to Pollsmoor. He’s not going to make it, they’re going to whack him. He’ll expose the corrupt cops if he sings, the corrupt politician­s, and he’ll tell us all what happened here.”

He’ll expose the corrupt cops if he sings, the corrupt politician­s

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