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AGE OF THE ASSASSIN

Three accused in the murder of ‘steroid king’ Brian Wainstein have been killed – who’s next?

Three accused in the murder of ‘steroid king’ Brian Wainstein have been killed – who’s next?
27s gang leader William 'Red' Stevens, Mark Lifman and alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen leave the Cape Town Magistrates' Court on 22 December 2020. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Adrian de Kock)

Someone is killing the suspects linked to the 2017 murder of Cape Town ‘steroid king’ Brian Wainstein. So far, three of the accused have been gunned down. The alleged trigger-man in Wainstein’s killing is among the dead. The number of people charged with the murder has now gone from 16 to 13.

Brian Wainstein was shot dead in his upmarket home in Constantia, Cape Town, in August 2017. The gunman entered his home and fired five bullets into the sleeping businessman. His girlfriend and child were in the house at the time.

The State claims that Wainstein’s murder was financed by alleged underworld figure Mark Lifman, and that he and others benefited from the illegal steroid business, which continued after Wainstein’s death. 

Another accused implicated in Wainstean’s killing, and appearing as accused number 2 on the indictment, is alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Clampdown upends underworld: Three suspects arrested in connection with a global steroid smuggler’s murder

On Thursday, 13 October, accused number 8, Anthony “Amier” van der Watt, died in a hail of bullets on the corner of Prince George Drive and Peach Street in the Cape Flats suburb of Retreat. 

According to police, Van der Watt and another alleged 27s gang member were on their way back to Kraaifontein after visiting an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison. The shooting bore the hallmarks of an organised hit. Police picked up more than 20 cartridges at the scene.

On 2 February 2021, William “Red” Stevens, a 27s leader, was shot dead in front of his home in Kraaifontein. He was also standing trial for Wainstein’s murder.

Then, in March 2021, Jason Maits was gunned down outside his house in Mitchells Plain. With alleged links to the 27s, Maits was among the 16 people arrested in connection with the murder of Wainstein.

Maits was out on bail after a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on 11 February 2021.

Hawks detective Lizelle Herbst alleges in her affidavit that “the assassination of Wainstein was funded by (Mark) Lifman. After the assassination, Stevens received payment from Lifman through a third party for his role in the murder.

“Thereafter, Booysen and Stevens allegedly shared in proceeds of the deceased’s illegal steroid business which continued after his death.”

Three other suspects in the Wainstein case are currently serving time. Matthew Breet entered a plea deal with the State in December 2018 and was sentenced to 20 years in jail. 

In June 2020, Fabian Cupido, who drove the vehicle on the day of the murder, entered a plea agreement and was jailed for 25 years. Chestlyn Adams is serving a 25-year sentence for his role in the Wainstein murder.

The indictment outlines the now deceased Van der Watt’s involvement:

  • He was allegedly part of attempts to take over Cape Town nightclubs Cubana, Coco Bar, Club 31, the Grand Africa Cafe and Maverick by force in April 2017;
  • Along with Ricardo Maarman, Beven Ezaus and Ismail Cupido, in April 2017 at or near Killarney Gardens, he unlawfully and intentionally conspired to aid to unlawfully and intentionally kill Wassen Chaudhry; and
  • On or about 17 April 2017 at or near the Cafe Caprice, Van der Watt, along with Maarman and Ezaus, unlawfully and intentionally with common purpose attempted to kill Aburagmaan Mukkadam by shooting at him with a firearm.

The connection between Van der Watt and “Red” Stevens is explained in the summary of facts: “Van der Watt, Jantjies and Stevens were present at a meeting at the home of Stevens in Kraaifontein and other members of the 27s gang. The meeting discussed the desire of Lifman to take back the club by force and intimidation and they all agreed to participate.”


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Van der Watt was also implicated in an April 2017 plot to kill Colin Booysen and a target referred to as @Pakistani in the VIP section at Cafe Caprice in Camps Bay.

The people linked to the other 37 charges on the indictment – which include conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed ammunition and firearms, corruption and money laundering – are Sea Point police sergeant and former Anti-Gang Unit detective Wayne Henderson, Sam Farquharson, Jakobus Stevens, Egan Norman, Anthony “Amier” van der Watt, Ricardo Maarman, Typhyene Jantjies, Beven Cedric Ezaus, Bradley de Bula, Kashief Hanslo, Rowendal Stevens and Ismail Cupido.

Read in Daily Maverick:Assassinations and conspiracies: The web of violence surrounding Cape Town’s bouncer wars is unravelling in court

Igor Russol, known as the “Igor the Russian”, was added to the charge sheet after he was arrested on 26 July 2022 by the Hawks. He faces charges including conspiracy to commit murder, gang-related charges and contravention of the Firearms Control Act. He is out on R15,000 bail.

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “Please note that Maits, Stevens and Van der Watt have been killed to date. The prosecution will not be impeded by the killings.”

The trial will continue in the Western Cape High Court in 2023. DM

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