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‘Modack told me he was proud of the job’, says State witness on Heerschap murder

‘Modack told me he was proud of the job’, says State witness on Heerschap murder
On Monday, 25 March 2024, State witness ‘Mr A’ confirmed in the Western Cape High Court the photos of where he shot and killed Nicolaas Heerschap in Melkbosstrand on 9 July 2019. (Photo: Jaco Marais / Police court file)

In Anti-Gang Unit officer Charl Kinnear’s murder trial, State witness ‘Mr A’ last week implicated underworld figure Nafiz Modack as the person who allegedly ordered a hit on Nicholas Heerschap. On Monday, he said Modack told him he was proud of the hit.

A State witness, who can be referred to only as “Mr A” to protect his identity, testified in the Western Cape High Court on Monday that he met murder accused Nafiz Modack, who had thanked him for a job well done in Melkbosstrand.

This refers to the murder almost five years ago of Nicholas Heerschap, the father of former Hawks officer Nico Heerschap.

Mr A admitted to the court that he shot and killed Heerschap outside his home in Melkbosstrand on 9 July 2019. The victim’s son, Nico, was investigating Modack at the time.

Modack and his 14 co-accused are collectively facing 124 charges, including murder, attempted murder, corruption, gangsterism, extortion, communication interception, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

They are charged with Heerschap’s murder as well as that of Anti-Gang Unit officer Charl Kinnear in 2020.

Mr A also implicated Ziyaad Poole as Modack’s so-called spokesperson. The state accuses Poole of playing a key role in the “Modack Enterprise”, allegedly handling payments for the organisation’s criminal activities.

Mr A is serving 25 years for the murder of Heerschap, following his plea and sentencing agreement in April 2022.

He has told the court that Modack ordered the hit. Mr A admitted to being a member of the Terrible West Siders (TWS) gang, allegedly led by Moegamat Toufeeq Brown.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Gangster admits to killing Hawks officer’s father, alleges Nafiz Modack was behind hit

On Monday, Mr A was shown photographs to confirm details about the Heerschap home where the victim was killed, details from a Woodstock home where the hit was allegedly planned, and the stretch of road on Baden Powell Drive where the Mercedes-Benz used in the hit was set alight. 

Trots proud’

Mr A was also asked about his interaction with Poole, who had allegedly asked Mr A to meet him in Woodstock in August 2019. He testified that Poole told him there was a car that was going to be used for another job. He previously testified that he had two .38 revolvers and that he had given one to Brown.

“When I arrived in Woodstock there was a patched green Toyota Tazz with a black bonnet. I drove the car to the house. While driving I called Moegamat Brown and inquired about the second .38 revolver. Brown went to fetch the gun at his house and gave it to me.

modack heerschap murder

The backup shooter firearm supplied to ‘Mr A’ in the killing of Nicholaas Heerschap, the father of former Hawks warrant officer Nico Heerschap. (Photo: Supplied)

“While I was sitting in the Tazz I moved to the back seat and waited for [alleged TWS member] Mario Petersen, I placed the revolver under the back seat. Suddenly the police opened the doors… While searching the car, the police found the gun I hid under the seat.”

He was arrested on 19 August 2019 and kept in the holding cells at the Woodstock Police Station.

The court further heard that Mr A phoned Poole from inside the holding cells and Poole allegedly told him he would arrange a lawyer to get him out.

Three days later, on 22 August, he was taken to the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court to appear on a charge of illegally possessing a firearm. However, he did not appear and was subsequently released.

“I did not go to [courtroom] 16 or see the magistrate of that court. A lawyer came down to me in the holding cells, who told me that I’m released and just took my fingerprints,” he said.

Judge Robert Henney interjected, saying the evidence concerning the lawyer was hearsay, but that he would provisionally accept this evidence. Henney said it was important that the lawyer appeared in court. If he did not, the evidence relating to the lawyer would be struck from the record.

“Outside the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court, the lawyer, Gary Newmark, took out his cellphone and called Poole. The lawyer gave the phone to me and Poole told me the ‘grootbaas’ got you out before you appeared in court,” Mr A testified.

He said that on 24 August 2019, Poole phoned him and asked to meet him in Stikland, Bellville.

“We met at Engen garage. Poole was standing next to a white GTI and next to his car [was] parked a white BMW. As I walked between the two cars, the window of the back seat of the BMW was half-opened. I saw the man that I have always seen in the newspapers, ‘accused 1’ (Nafiz) Modack.

“Modack was sitting in the back seat of the BMW. Modack told me that he was ‘trots’ proud of the job I did in Melkbosstrand. He told me that he is a business person and I will not see him a lot. 

“He told me from now on, Poole will be his mouthpiece… that he will sort out my legal fees, anything that I want,” Mr A told the court.

Modack, according to Mr A, then drove off with his driver while he and Poole stayed behind. They spoke of arranging to buy Mr A a new work vehicle.

Later that day, Mr A said he met Poole and they drove to Century City. The witness told the court he was instructed by Poole to go across to the Mercedes-Benz dealership and stand next to a silver Chevrolet.

Mr A told the court: “Poole had a blue Pick n Pay plastic bag and gave me R30,000 to give to a man that would come by with a car.”

Mr A said that two minutes later, a white Ford Ranger drove up and he handed a man the plastic bag which Poole had given him. The man tossed him the keys to the Chevrolet.

The trial continues on Tuesday. DM

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