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Beyond DJ Sumbody’s murder – business tensions, underworld fears and a court order

Beyond DJ Sumbody’s murder – business tensions, underworld fears and a court order
A photo of Oupa John Sefoka’s (DJ Sumbody’s) club Ayepyep Lifestyle in Pretoria on 22 November 2022. (Photo by Gallo Images / OJ Koloti) | Rawpixel

Oupa John Sefoka, better known as DJ Sumbody, was gunned down in Johannesburg in November last year. Now claims – touching on gangs, bullying and fears of violence – are surfacing about the business he left behind with a partner.

A Western Cape High Court order has revealed details of tensions between the business partner of a murdered DJ and a suspected gang member.

At the centre of the matter is the Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge in Cape Town, marketed as a luxury evening venue and restaurant.

The court order relates to the running of the business – among the respondents in the case is suspected 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, who the order bans from going to the venue.

DJ Sumbody murder

Flowers placed outside DJ Sumbody’s Ayepyep Lifestyle club in Pretoria on 22 November 2022. (Photo: Gallo Images / OJ Koloti)

Ayepyep Lifestyle was a brand created by DJ and producer Oupa John Sefoka, better known as DJ Sumbody, and his business partner, Kagiso Setsetse.

It involves the Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge in Menlyn, Pretoria, as well as the club in Cape Town.

Sefoka was murdered in a shooting in Johannesburg on 20 November 2022 – the case is still under investigation.

Threat claims and denial

On 21 May 2023, the Sunday World reported that Sefoka’s brother Koketso was “living in fear” after Setsetse had threatened him. 

A day later Setsetse denied this, telling Daily Maverick in a statement: “I have never threatened Koketso Sefoka’s life and I would never.”

He said the investigating officer in Sefoka’s murder had asked him to make himself available for an interview, but Setsetse said his attorneys indicated he would do so online or in writing. This was because Setsetse had been in Dubai since April as he feared returning to South Africa. He claimed he received threats from a crime suspect before his anticipated return.

‘I will be killed’

“I will not come to SA for this because I know I will be killed immediately,” he said.

“The underworld has serious contacts in most authorities’ ranks and they would know I’m in the country, thus putting my life at risk.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged through the Western Cape High Court order that Setsetse has experienced problems involving Ayepyep in Cape Town.

Those problems concerned the running of the business, particularly where income was being channelled. 

The court order, dated 28 April 2023, contains some details about the issues.

It does not contain accusations of criminality, but rather outlines what should be done at the establishment.

Ayepyep Lounge Cape Town and Setsetse are listed as applicants in the matter, while respondents include Stanfield, who was wounded in a shooting in Johannesburg in 2017, and his wife, Nicole Johnson.

While the court order does not state exactly how they were involved in Ayepyep, it suggests Johnson was its general manager and that she and Stanfield were involved in operating the business.

Daily Maverick has previously reported that both Johnson and Stanfield were accused in a criminal case involving allegations that police officers helped create firearm licences for suspects who were not entitled to such documentation.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Police are still arming criminals, despite ‘plans’ to stop the scourge

City of Cape Town and the 28s 

It was also reported that Johnson’s company, Glomix, had been awarded housing tenders from the City of Cape Town.

This tied into a saga involving the city’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, whose office was raided on 15 March as part of a fraud and corruption investigation into allegations that he took cash from gangsters.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SAPS investigating allegations Cape Town mayco member Malusi Booi ‘took cash from gangsters’

Booi was fired from that position but has not been criminally charged.

Earlier in May, Booi told Daily Maverick’s Velani Ludidi that he feared for his life because the police probe involved underworld figures.

Read more in Daily Maverick: DA’s suspended Malusi Booi ‘fears for his life’ after police probe into alleged gangster links

In the Ayepyep court matter, it emerged that Johnson was directly involved in the Cape Town branch.

She has previously been publicly linked to it – in October 2021 the tabloid Die Son referred to her as the owner of Ayepyep in a news article about Covid vaccinations being offered there.

In terms of the Western Cape High Court order, part of it said a member of a company that deals with business restructuring was appointed as the establishment’s director.

It said Johnson’s “suspension” as general manager was lifted.

The court order also said that Setsetse and Stanfield “undertake not to contact each other indirectly or directly” and that Stanfield “undertakes not to attend the venue”.

This suggests tensions between the two.

Safety of patrons

Safety at entertainment establishments and extortion linked to nightclubs in Cape Town has previously been focused on.

Back in April 2021, suspicions emerged in Cape Town night venue circles that Ayepyep was the target of gangsters demanding protection money in exchange for providing it with “security.”

Daily Maverick has previously reported on a broader underworld battle, as alleged by the State in certain court cases, for control of security at some Cape Town venues, involving gangs including the 27s and Sexy Boys.

Read more in Daily MaverickThe Enforcers – Inside Cape Town’s Deadly Nightclub Battles

These broader security battles have for years simmered away, sometimes boiling over in the form of shootings or stabbings in the city. DM

Caryn Dolley has spent years tracing the footprints of crime/drug kingpins from across the world. In her latest book, Clash of the Cartels, Dolley provides unprecedented insight into how specific drug cartels and syndicates have operated via South Africa, becoming embroiled in deadly violence in the country and bolstering local criminal networks. Available now from the Daily Maverick Shop.


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