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‘I want to empty a gun in his head’ – chilling affidavit about alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s ‘plans’

‘I want to empty a gun in his head’ – chilling affidavit about alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s ‘plans’
Illustrative image: Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson. (Photos: Shelley Christians / GroundUp / Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais / iStock)

Detailed accusations, ranging from death threat-style statements to a shooting and hunting for a complainant in a case against him, have surfaced in a Cape Town court against alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield.

Alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield wanted his henchmen to find an individual who went into hiding because he feared Stanfield would kill him, a Cape Town court has heard. The same individual was targeted in a shooting in Cape Town last month.

He remains in hiding for safety reasons.

These, and various other allegations, surfaced in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 11 October 2023, when Stanfield and his wife, Nicole Johnson, appeared in the dock with Denver Booysen, Johannes Abrahams and Jose Brandt, also known as Makop.

The State is opposing their application for bail.

Journalist ‘warned’

While several serious allegations were levelled against Stanfield, in particular, during Wednesday’s proceedings, there were also apparent tensions outside the court building.

During a break in proceedings, a journalist from another media house went to buy refreshments, and on her return, a man approached her and told her that reporters sitting in front of the courtroom would be dealt with.

Other journalists were informed – a Daily Maverick reporter was present – and police officers were notified.

It is understood some journalists left the court afterwards.

The Firm resurfaces

During proceedings, one of the many allegations heard was that a complainant against Stanfield alleged that Stanfield had used co-accused Brandt as a shooter for The Firm.

Daily Maverick has previously reported that before his death in 2014, Stanfield’s uncle, Colin Stanfield, headed the gang conglomerate The Firm, which has a strong 28s membership.

Ralph Stanfield and his co-accused face charges relating to the theft of a 2017 BMW 320i M-Sport vehicle worth about R326,050, robbery relating to a Samsung cellphone worth R2,500, and fraud.

During a previous court appearance, on Monday, 9 October 2023, both Stanfield and Johnson denied all accusations against them.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Suspected 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s legal woes intensify after attempted murder charge heard in court

In Wednesday’s court proceedings, an affidavit from the investigating officer in the case, Lieutenant Colonel Christiaan van Renen, was read out.

While it was being read out, Stanfield appeared to become agitated, at one point even raising a hand.

Van Renen’s affidavit said that, on 24 November 2022, the complainant against Stanfield was driving the vehicle, which his partner had bought about three years ago. That affidavit forms the basis of the car theft charge.

‘Ralph wants to kill him’

According to the affidavit, the complainant, who once worked for Stanfield, was on his way to drop his partner off at her place of employment when “he received a call from a co-worker that said he must not come to work because Ralph wants to kill him”.

The complainant drove to a friend’s house to be safe, but “believed that Ralph would trace the vehicle through [a tracking system]”.

The complainant parked the vehicle at a security complex in the Cape Town suburb of Milnerton.

Van Renen’s affidavit said that a short while later “[the complainant] was informed that Ralph came and removed the vehicle at the complex with a tow truck”.

According to Van Renen, a security manager at the complex instructed a supervisor to call the police because “people forced their way on to the premises”.

A woman, who had arrived shortly before a man in a black Range Rover, had called someone referred to as “Col Africa” and police subsequently arrived.

“They spoke to the police and the police gave permission for the vehicle to be towed away,” Van Renen’s affidavit alleged.

Caught on camera

It said that a police officer had been led to believe that the motor vehicle belonged to the woman who was at the scene.

The complainant, meanwhile, had not permitted anyone to move the vehicle.

According to Van Renen’s affidavit, video footage from the security complex where the complainant had parked the vehicle allegedly showed individuals including Stanfield, Johnson and the other accused who appeared with them in court on Wednesday.

Police subsequently seized the vehicle on 15 June 2023 at an address in the suburb of Valhalla Park, sections of which are 28s strongholds.

Daily Maverick has previously reported on a 2020 Western Cape High Court judgment, following a double murder in Valhalla Park, that alleged “the Stanfield family … control the 28s in the Valhalla Park area”.

Meanwhile, on the same day that the vehicle was towed from the Milnerton security complex, 24 November 2022, the complainant went into hiding.

‘You must finish him off’

Van Renen’s affidavit alleged that on that day, a witness in the case heard Stanfield ask Simon Stanfield: “Hey jy nog niks van [the complainant] gehoor nie?” (Haven’t you heard anything about the complainant?)

The witness also allegedly heard Stanfield tell Simon: “Daar is nie meer hoop vir hom nie; julle moet klaar maak met hom.” (There is no hope for him; you must finish him off.)

Daily Maverick previously reported that a man named Simon Stanfield was murdered in a shooting near Blikkiesdorp in Delft in March this year.

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

According to Van Renen’s affidavit, Ralph Stanfield allegedly told a man named Ernest in December 2022: “Ek wil hê julle moet [the complainant] vang en na my toe bring; ek wil ’n 16-shooter leeg skiet in die kop.” (I want you to catch him and bring him to me; I want to empty a 16-shooter in his head.)

Daily Maverick understands that a “16-shooter” is a reference to a 9mm handgun that can fire 16 rounds.

‘They followed and shot at him’

Van Renen’s affidavit said the complainant was still in hiding because there was an attempt on his life last month, on 7 September.

Brandt, the accused also known as Makop, was charged in connection with that.

According to Van Renen’s affidavit, the complainant was at a garage in the Cape Town suburb of Brooklyn on 7 September, when he noticed two men approaching his vehicle.

The complainant allegedly recognised one of them as Brandt, who works for his co-accused, Booysen, who allegedly in turn works for Stanfield as part of The Firm.

“Shortly after [the complainant] handed R300 to the petrol attendant he saw a white Polo with flickering lights approaching his vehicle,” Van Renen’s affidavit said.

“He saw Makop was on the passenger side, and Makop and another male started shooting at him. He felt a burning sensation in his right arm and drove off. They continued following him … while shooting at him.”

The complainant knew Makop and alleged that Stanfield used him as a shooter for The Firm.

Other legal issues

Stanfield and Johnson were arrested at their home in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Constantia on 29 September 2023.

Their three co-accused were detained after that.

Stanfield and Johnson are also among a group facing criminal charges in another case stemming from 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.

Earlier this year, Daily Maverick reported that Stanfield’s name cropped up in an investigation relating to city councillor 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.

Over the past few months, Stanfield and Johnson have also been central to a saga involving an accusation of intimidation linked to the Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge, a venue in Cape Town’s city centre.

Johnson’s mother, Barbara, owns half of that business.

The case against Stanfield, Johnson and their three other co-accused is expected to resume in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on 17 October 2023. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Mike Walwyn says:

    A really tangled web. And don’t the SAPS come out smelling like roses:)

  • Les Thorpe says:

    S.A.’s one area of development that merits international aclaim. Gangsterism, extortion, hijacking (vehilces & buildings), assassination and murder, accompanied by fraud and money laundering. We are such a proud nation!!

  • Graham Howard says:

    Violent underworld of crime growing at a rapid pace as a result of a poor police and legal system that doesn’t hold people accountable for their crimes.

    • Charles du Sautoy says:

      .. not to mention the failure of national and provincial government to address poverty and unemployment among our marginalised communities, who are easily recruited by gangsters, because they see no other legitimate opportunity.

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