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AGE OF THE ASSASSIN

Motorist slain in Cape Town reportedly related to gunman killed outside city restaurant last year

Motorist slain in Cape Town reportedly related to gunman killed outside city restaurant last year
The scene where a motorist was hit. (Source: Twitter) | Victim Shafiq Naser. (Photo: Facebook | Sharpened with AI) | Unsplash

In October 2022 a shootout occurred outside a Cape Town restaurant that previously cropped up in an organised crime court case – the violence left a gunman dead. It now turns out that a motorist assassinated in the city on Wednesday may be the gunman’s cousin.

A man carrying a gun and wearing a helmet walked up to the Grand Africa Café & Beach in Cape Town’s Granger Bay in October last year and apparently fired shots, wounding a security officer.

Officers returned fire, and, in the process, the helmeted gunman was killed.

Various media reports named him as Abdel Fattah Nassar and at the time, there were suspicions he may have been linked to organised crime activities in Israel, where he was believed to be from.

And it now turns out that Nassar may be the cousin of a motorist, Shafiq Naser, who was assassinated in the Cape Town suburb of Milnerton on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

Daily Maverick reported that a gunman on a motorbike had pumped bullets into the vehicle that Naser was driving.

String of violence

The shooting is the latest in a string of attacks that have played out around the city – in one of the other recent incidents, a private security vehicle was targeted in the suburb of Sea Point.

While the motive for the Sea Point shooting was unclear, it was reminiscent of previous problems relating to private security and bouncer activities in Cape Town.

In the case of Naser, he died at the scene in Milnerton on Wednesday.

It is understood he was originally from Israel.

Naser was involved in the construction, luxury vehicle and property industries in Cape Town.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Another hit in Cape Town as motorbike assassin slays motorist with possible construction industry ties

Daily Maverick has established he was the director of companies including Naser Construction, which appeared to be located in the same suburb he was shot, Milnerton, and Naser Luxury Car Hire, which had a business address in the Century City area.

Based on the City of Cape Town Municipal Planning Tribunal report from 2021, Naser owned property earmarked for development in the suburb of Kuils River.

Extortion in relation to the construction industry is a big problem in Cape Town and has before resulted in intimidation and killings

On Wednesday, hours after Naser was killed, police said they had not yet established the motive for his murder.

Helmeted gunman murdered 

It was widely reported that Naser was a cousin of Abdel Fattah Nassar, the man killed outside the Grand Africa Café & Beach nearly a year ago.

Daily Maverick has also received information about possible links between the two from sources tied to policing.

One Israeli publication, reporting on Nassar’s October 2022 murder, had said Nassar was in the country because he had joined a cousin in South Africa.

The Times of Israel said he may have been involved in an organised crime group based there – Daily Maverick previously reported how rival Israeli gangs also seemed to be operational in South Africa.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Cross-country killings – Evidence suggests rival gangs in Israel brought their fight to South Africa

The incident in Cape Town in which Nassar was killed happened at the end of October last year.

At the time, a spokesperson for the Grand had said: “A suspicious individual wearing a helmet entered the parking lot of Grand Africa Café & Beach… Security personnel asked the individual to please remove his helmet. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Helmeted gunman killed, security guard wounded in Cape Town restaurant shootout

“As an unprovoked response, the suspect shot at the security officer, injuring him. Our security function is outsourced.

“The security services team on site was forced to return fire in self-defence as the perpetrator continued to discharge his weapon after wounding the security officer.”

Same place, another shooting

There was recently another gun incident in the same vicinity.

On 7 September 2023 a 59-year-old man was wounded in a shooting, also outside the Grand.

Daily Maverick understands he was a car guard and may have been mistaken for someone else.

Police were investigating.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Two Cape Town shootings, one outside an upmarket restaurant, echo private security skirmishes of years past

About 10 days before the incident outside the Grand, on 28 August 2023, a private security vehicle was shot at in Sea Point.

Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg previously said: “According to reports, a security vehicle was parked on the pavement when unknown suspect/s shot at the vehicle. No injuries or death of a person was reported.”

While it is not clear what was behind the shooting, there have been previous incidents relating to private security in Cape Town.

Extortion and assassination

This also involved the Grand Africa Café & Beach.

It was previously referenced in an organised crime court case as a venue being forced to pay over so-called “protection money” to a group of men allegedly trying to dominate private security in Cape Town.

In that case suspected organised crime kingpin Nafiz Modack and four other men were arrested in December 2017.

They were accused of using intimidatory tactics and extortion to secure a security contract at the Grand.

Three years after being arrested in that case, the Modack group was acquitted and reportedly celebrated at the very venue they were accused of targeting – the Grand Africa Café & Beach.

Modack was subsequently rearrested in 2021 and faces several criminal charges, including for the September 2020 assassination of detective Charl Kinnear who had been investigating suspects, including Modack himself.

At the time of his murder, Kinnear was also investigating several organised crime cases, including various shootings that happened in Cape Town. DM

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