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Risky business — City of Cape Town blacklists companies linked to 28s gang case accused Nicole Johnson

Risky business — City of Cape Town blacklists companies linked to 28s gang case accused Nicole Johnson
Illustrative image: Nicole Johnson and Ralph Stanfield at the Cape Town Regional Court on 16 September 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

The City of Cape Town has blacklisted businesses linked to Nicole Johnson. She is the wife of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield and runs a company awarded tenders to build houses in Cape Town, which has been targeted by violent construction mafias.

In a web of scandals that involves intimidation, violence and murder, the City of Cape Town has blacklisted seven companies linked to crime-accused Nicole Johnson, whose husband is alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield.

Daily Maverick has reported extensively on matters involving the couple, including that Johnson’s company Glomix House Brokers has been involved in housing projects in Cape Town, worth millions of rands, for more than a decade.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Company previously flagged over ‘28s gang’ suspicions still building houses for Western Cape government

Johnson is the director of Glomix, which was awarded housing tenders after 2014 when she and Stanfield were first arrested and faced criminal charges.

The couple were arrested again, along with three others, in September this year in another case, related to car theft and fraud, for which they remain in custody.

‘Intimidation and violence’

On Tuesday, 19 December, they were referenced when the Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum, which includes the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), welcomed police progress against construction mafia crimes.

The SIU said, “A notable recent arrest has been that of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield and his wife, Nicole Johnson.

nicole johnson ralph stanfield

Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson outside the Cape Town Regional Court on 16 September 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

“Several Cape Town construction contractors had to abandon government housing construction sites following alleged acts of intimidation and violence.

“Thereafter, the Western Cape government’s Human Settlements Department awarded Johnson’s company, Glomix House Brokers, the contracts for completing these abandoned projects.”

Daily Maverick has reported how a business linked to a co-accused alongside the couple, who has since been murdered, was awarded a tender from a national government department.

Now, in the expanding saga — which affects the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government, and which involves a police raid, a resignation and suspicions of construction mafia violence — the city has blacklisted seven companies linked to Johnson.

City Manager Lungelo Mbandazayo confirmed this to Daily Maverick on Thursday.

He did not name the companies.

In an article published on Wednesday, IOL reported that the matter involved an investigation relating to the murder of City of Cape Town official Wendy Kloppers, who was gunned down in Delft, at the Symphony Way Housing Project building site, on 16 February.

Mbandazayo told IOL Kloppers was killed after the city refused to give in to the demands of gangsters demanding work from contractors at the housing project. 

IOL quoted Mbandazayo as saying: “I decided to suspend all tenders and instead have a closer look at all of them. 

“I cannot divulge how we uncovered the list of companies but I can confirm that we found that in fact all of them were being run by Nicole Johnson.” 

Mbandazayo confirmed to Daily Maverick on Thursday that an investigation had been launched into construction-related tenders after the murder of Kloppers.

‘Risk to city’s reputation’

The investigation was ongoing “and it would be inappropriate to comment before its completion”.

Mbandazayo said the information he provided in the IOL interview, “only addressed companies who were blacklisted from doing business with the City of Cape Town based on the risk they pose to the city’s reputation.

“As it relates to reputational risk, a total number of seven companies were blacklisted, all of which are affiliated with Ms Johnson in one way or another.”

Two construction contracts that had been awarded “were cancelled due to the risk the contractor poses to the city’s reputation”. 

cape town blacklist nicole johnson

Police minister Bheki Cele (centre) arrives at the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court for the appearance of Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson on 2 October 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

In the IOL article, Mbandazayo was quoted as saying: “The investigation also saw some of the officials from the Human Settlements Department being suspended and others are attending disciplinary hearings.

“They were even tailor-making tenders before they went out so those same companies could easily apply and be granted those tenders.”

On Thursday, though, he declined to provide details of this aspect to Daily Maverick, saying: “Unfortunately, this is the subject of an ongoing investigation and therefore we cannot provide comment at this time.”  

In March, the month after Kloppers was murdered, Malusi Booi was fired as mayoral committee member for human settlements after his City of Cape Town office was raided during a fraud and corruption investigation.

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

Stanfield’s name surfaced in that investigation, which dealt with whether Booi had accepted cash from underworld figures in exchange for information about housing tenders.

Booi was not criminally charged and at the end of October, he resigned as a councillor, saying he wanted to get on with his life and clear his name.

Ernest McLaughlin murder

In March, the same month that Booi’s office was raided, Ernest McLaughlin was murdered in the Cape Town suburb of Belhar.

This loops back to Stanfield and Johnson. 

In 2014 they were arrested in a case involving allegations that police at the SAPS’ Central Firearm Registry had created fraudulent firearm licences for them and others.

Among those also charged in the case were three (now former) police members — Priscilla Mangyani, Billy April and Mary Cartwright — and McLaughlin.

While still facing charges in that case, Stanfield and Johnson were again arrested in September this year.

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

In the new case, for which they are expected back in court in February, they face charges including car theft, fraud, and in Stanfield’s case, attempted murder.

McLaughlin again fits into this.

During court proceedings in that case in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court earlier this year, a police investigator alleged in an affidavit that McLaughlin had worked for Stanfield.

Last month, Daily Maverick reported that McLaughlin appeared to have been involved with companies linked to Johnson.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Murdered suspect’s signature suggests company ‘linked to 28s gang’ won defence contract

One of those was Glomix and another, Yibaninati, secured a contract in 2017 with the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. 

Nightclub row

ralph stanfield

There was a heavy police presence at the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court when Ralph Stanfield appeared in connection with the Ayepyep dispute in October 2023. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

Stanfield and Johnson were this year also involved in a spat involving the Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge in Cape Town.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Fear, violence and extortion in Cape Town — luxury venue Ayepyep closes amid claims of gangsterism and threats

The venue was closed in August after accusations by the then co-owner, Kagiso Setsetse, that Stanfield and Johnson, its general manager, were trying to forcefully take control of the business. 

The venue, which is now co-owned by Johnson’s mother, Barbara Johnson, reopened in September shortly before Johnson and Stanfield were arrested.

Shootings

Ayepyep’s co-founder, DJ and producer Oupa John Sefoka, aka DJ Sumbody, was murdered in a shooting in Johannesburg in November 2022.

Stanfield himself was wounded in a shooting in Johannesburg in July 2017.

In March this year, one of his cousins, Simon Stanfield, was fatally shot in the Cape Town suburb of Delft.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Another cousin of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield murdered, this time while Stanfield in custody

Last month another of Stanfield’s cousins, Noor Stanfield Stephanus (or simply Noor Stephanus), was killed in a shooting in Valhalla Park, about 10km from Delft.

Parts of Valhalla Park are 28s gang strongholds.

Noor’s father (Ralph Stanfield’s uncle) was Colin Stanfield, who before his death in 2004 was believed to have headed The Firm, a gang conglomerate with a heavy 28s membership.

In the latest criminal case in which Ralph Stanfield faces charges, he was accused of heading The Firm. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Well done COCT! I applaud your ongoing efforts to stop crime and corruption in our country.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Great work

  • Rae Earl says:

    These people are a scourge and must be locked up permanently, preferably in prisons far away from their home base to make it difficult for them to use home town proxies to carry on running their operations while in prison. Bheki Cele unfortunately does not have the intelligence to match wits with thugs like Stanfield and Johnson and their gang so progress will be hampered. Wish we had a sharp minister of police instead of this clown who parades crime scenes in that ridiculous pork pie hat to ensure TV exposure. And, beyond understanding, Ramaphosa gives him undying support.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Why cannot the blacklisted companies benamed

  • Lo-Ammi Truter says:

    Well done, Cape Town safety and security and human settlements officials (some of whom paid with their lives for this), Alderman JP Smith and our efficient Mayor Gordon Hill-Lewis, for starting this much needed clean-up that is decades overdue.

    Please put the necessary pressure on SAPS to look at all avenues through which Stanfield and Johnson may be linked to the death of Wendy Kloppers and other murders and acts of intimidation related to CT housing tenders. And let the CT Metro Police help SAPS. Us Capetonians all know they are more efficient in these things than SAPS. In fact, please do the entire investigation and just give them the dockets to deliver to the prosecutor’s office. Thats the only way to ensure it gets done and done properly.

    The ANC leadership cannot take a leaf out of the DA’s Cape Town leadership’s book of cleaning up corruption because the ANC’s leadership structures are too compromised by corruption on every tier of goverment nationally, provincially and on municipal level in the rest of the country. The gangsters robbing the country have too much on them. They are paralysed to act even if they wanted to (they don’t). That is mainly why we must rid every province and town of their presence in government.

    This country can only survive if every tier of government is ANC-free. And that goes for the EFF too who operates from the ANC’s playbook despite posing as their opposition. Their leadership learned from their former mentors in the ANC.

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