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Suspected 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s legal woes intensify after attempted murder charge heard in court

Suspected 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s legal woes intensify after attempted murder charge heard in court
Heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrates' Court where Ralph Stanfield appeared on 2 October 2023. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

Alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield faces escalating legal problems, from which he is trying to distance himself. Together with his wife, Nicole Johnson, and three others, he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Monday where it was heard he is now also accused of attempted murder.

The criminal case against alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield is growing.

And details of his business dealings, and those of his wife, Nicole Johnson, are emerging in court.

The couple have denied the charges they face.

Stanfield appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 9 October, along with Johnson and three co-accused: Denver Booysen, Johannes Abrahams and Jose Brandt.

It was the second time that Stanfield, Johnson, Booysen and Abrahams had appeared in the court, while Brandt, who was arrested at the weekend, appeared with them for the first time. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: SAPS big guns descend on Cape Town court for case involving alleged 28s boss Ralph Stanfield

The five are in custody and expected back in the court on Wednesday, 11 October. 

They face charges including motor vehicle theft, assault, robbery and fraud.

Stanfield and Brandt also face an illegal firearm possession charge.

During Monday’s proceedings it was heard that Stanfield now also faces an attempted murder charge. The State is yet to explain the details of this charge. 

Stanfield and Johnson want to be released on bail.

Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson outside the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court during their appearance on charges of fraud and corruption on 4 September 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Nasief Manie)

Sleep apnea and medical issues

An affidavit that was read out to the court by Stanfield’s advocate, Laurance Hodes SC, said that Stanfield was shot multiple times in 2017.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: From a hit to steroid deals, the other underworld suspicions surrounding alleged 28s boss Ralph Stanfield

In the affidavit, Stanfield said he suffered from sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to sleep. He does not have access to such a machine while in custody. 

Stanfield denied all allegations against him and said that no search warrant was produced before his business premises were searched last month. 

He said he was born on 1 September 1979 and was raised by his single mother in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain, where he went on to run feeding schemes.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Net seems to be closing in on alleged 28s gang ‘boss’ Ralph Stanfield after his arrest in Constantia 

Now, he said, his primary business is construction and he earns R40,000 monthly.

(Daily Maverick has reported that extortion in relation to the construction industry is a big problem in Cape Town.) 

Heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court where Ralph Stanfield appeared on 2 October 2023. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

Johnson’s health issues

The court has heard that Johnson had health issues and was recently admitted to a Cape Town hospital from where she was discharged a day before her arrest. 

Johnson had been remanded to the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison.

On Monday, it was claimed in court that a nurse had denied Johnson, who suffered from low calcium levels, medical treatment — this apparently had to do with a dressing that was not changed. 

Johnson’s legal representative, Ross McKernan, said she previously also had tuberculosis which required medical attention. 

Johnson said in her affidavit that she completed matric in 2005 and was in her third year of studying for an LLB degree.

She ran two beauty stores, named Sorbet. One was in the Cape Town suburb of Green Point and the other was in the city’s Canal Walk shopping mall.

She said she earns about R97,000 a month.

The court heard that her businesses would suffer while she was in custody. 

Last week, the court heard Johnson has two children, aged 15 and 17, and that their mother’s absence was affecting their wellbeing.

It also heard their maternal grandmother was working from home and staying with them.

Johnson’s mother, Barbara, has cropped up before in reports about Johnson’s business dealings.

Ayepyep’s co-owner

This had to do with a saga Daily Maverick has reported extensively on — events at the Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge in Cape Town, in Kloof Street in the city.

In June 2023 its former co-owner Kagiso Setsetse lodged a criminal complaint with the police about Ayepyep Cape Town, alleging that Stanfield, who provided it with security, and Johnson, its general manager, were trying to dominate it.

The venue closed in August after Setsetse’s allegations ramped up.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Legal settlement – Cape Town luxury venue Ayepyep to reopen after gang and extortion accusations spat

It reopened again late in September after Setsetse sold his one-third of shares in the business.

This left Johnson’s mother, Barbara, owning half the venue.

Firearm licences case

Meanwhile, Johnson and Stanfield were arrested in another case in 2014.

That case is based on allegations that three (now former) police officers linked to the Central Firearm Registry — Priscilla Mangyani, Billy April and Mary Cartwright — issued gun licences to Stanfield and others who had no legal right to them.

It is expected to resume in the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court in December.

Earlier this year, Daily Maverick reported that Stanfield’s name cropped up in an investigation relating to Malusi Booi, who in March was fired from the post of mayoral committee member for human settlements after his City of Cape Town office was raided during an investigation into fraud and corruption.

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

Daily Maverick also reported that the City of Cape Town was doing business with Johnson, who is the director of Glomix House Brokers.

Glomix is building 204 houses in the Cape Town suburb of Valhalla Park, sections of which are 28s strongholds, in a project expected to be completed next year. DM


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