AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Arrests take place at Nafiz Modack bail hearing, while defence objects to damning evidence
Arguments by alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack’s legal representative attempting to prevent the State from reading damning evidence into the court record were met with short shrift.
It has taken the State prosecutor Greg Wolmarans three days to read into the record several affidavits by Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) detectives. The latest was a 67-page damning document by the DPCI’s Warrant Officer Trevor Shaw.
On Friday, 10 September, bail proceedings for Modack, who is accused alongside former rugby player Zane Kilian of murdering Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) detective Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear and implicated in the attempted murder of lawyer William Booth, were dominated by arguments led by advocate Danie Dörfling, representing Modack.
Shaw’s affidavit set out how Modack allegedly conspired with fellow accused Amaal Jantjies and her boyfriend, Janick Adonis, to murder Kinnear.
Kinnear was shot dead on 18 September 2020 outside his home in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town, while Booth survived an attempt on his life on 9 April 2020.
Dörfling objected to the prosecution reading into the record lengthy affidavits of the investigating officers. These painted a grim picture of Modack and “tarnished” his character, said his lawyer.
Dörfling was of the view that the process was “time consuming” and unnecessarily delayed the bail hearing, which commenced in May.
Modack and Kilian, along with co-accused Jacques Cronje, Ricardo Morgan (out on R50,000 bail), and AGU Sergeant Ashley Tabisher, are facing charges of racketeering, corruption, contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and contravention of the Electronic Communications Act.
Bail for Jantjies and Adonis has already been denied in the Parow Magistrates’ Court.
Shaw’s affidavit indicated that Modack allegedly orchestrated attempts on Kinnear’s life, and an attachment to his affidavit included push-to-talk (PTT) voice recordings and incriminating text messages between Modack and Jantjies.
The next affidavit, one of 77 pages by Colonel Eddie Clark, showed the links between an alleged extortion incident by Modack, Cronje and Morgan and the attempt to murder Booth.
On Friday the State was set to continue reading into the record Clark’s affidavit. However, this was halted by Dörfling.
“I make an application to ensure we don’t carry on like this in this matter and not bother with a dustbin full of rubbish. I suggest we move forward in a firm and constructive manner. It is abuse of court time of playing videos or showing how stupid a client looks,” he told magistrate Deon van der Spuy.
Modack’s second legal representative, senior counsel Dirk Uys, echoed Dörfling’s sentiments, saying the reading of the affidavits was “a waste of time”.
Kilian’s counsel, advocate Marius Botha, argued the State was prolonging the process and placing “irrelevant evidence before court”.
Dörfling also disputed the voice recordings and text messages between Modack and certain individuals and argued that the defence sought access to this evidence.
The text messages and voice recordings are attachments to both Shaw’s and Clark’s affidavits.
The texts and voice recordings, argued Dörfling, would not be permitted in the criminal trial and added that “99% of the State case centres on PTT, people not being witnesses and one that is dead.
“We don’t know who the source is and we can’t correlate that with the evidence the State placed before court.”
Wolmarans, for the State, argued that from the outset in May 2021 Modack’s legal team had made several applications. As a result of these applications matters had to stand down at times.
“I say this because it seems what Mr Dörfling has done was to lay any type of delay fairly and squarely on the doorstep of the State. In reality, the long road we’ve journeyed has to do with how the applicant’s counsel has approached the matter. It is their right to bring as many applications as they want, but it does eat up time,” Wolmarans contended.
Van Der Spuy subsequently ruled that the State could continue to read into record the affidavits by DPCI investigators and that the accuseds’ representatives should be given “simplified electronic information so that they can follow the voice recordings played and text messages shown in court”.
There was more drama inside court before the lunch break when investigators noticed “eye signals” between two of the accused in the dock and a family member in the court.
The prosecution confirmed that they were aware of what had transpired in court and viewed “it in a very serious manner”.
Following the incident, police arrested Modack’s security guards as well as several members of the public outside the court.
Both the Hawks and SAPS failed to respond to inquiries as to whether the individuals were released or formally charged. The matter will proceed on Wednesday, 15 September in the Blue Downs Regional Court. DM/MC