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Bounty ‘of R3m to take out’ attorney William Booth, Kinnear trial told

Bounty ‘of R3m to take out’ attorney William Booth, Kinnear trial told
From left: Nafiz Modack. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais) | Investigators inspect the scene of the 2018 murder in Cape Town of advocate Pete Mihalik. (Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Adrian de Kock) | Police search a section of Argyle Street, Woodstock for clues after the arrest of two suspects. (Photo: Jaco Marais) | Alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Adrian de Kock)

A State witness in the trial of those accused of killing the Anti-Gang Unit’s Charl Kinnear has admitted to killing tow truck driver Richard Joseph, allegedly to send a message from alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack, and claimed Modack ordered a hit on attorney William Booth.

In the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, a State witness implicated alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack in the attempted murder of attorney William Booth.

“Mr A”, a member of the Terrible West Siders (TWS)  gang, who cannot be named to protect his identity, claimed Modack ordered a hit on Booth after blaming Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome “Donkie” Booysen for the murder of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik, who was representing Modack at the time.

Mr A has already testified that he murdered Nicolaas Heerschap, the father of former Hawks Warrant Officer Nico Heerschap, on 9 July 2019 in Melkbosstrand, allegedly on Modack’s order. The younger Heerschap was investigating Modack at the time.

Mr A is serving a 25-year prison sentence for Heerschap’s murder.

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

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Modack told me he was proud of the job’, says State witness on Heerschap murder

Mihalik was gunned down on 30 October 2018 as he was about to drop off his daughter at the Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school in Green Point.

In August 2023, Mihalik’s killers, Sizwe Biyela, Nkosinathi Khumalo and Vuyile Maliti were sentenced in the Western Cape High Court to life imprisonment.

Mr A said: “It was an eye for an eye. Mihalik was Modack’s lawyer. He believed that Booysen allegedly killed Mihalik. Then Modack ordered that Booth, who was Booysen’s lawyer, be taken out. There was a ransom [sic] of R3-million to take out Booth,” he told the court.

Before his death, Mihalik represented Modack, Colin Booysen — brother of Jerome Booysen — Ashley Fields, Jacques Cronje and Carl Lakay in court after they were charged with extortion. They were acquitted in 2020. 

Failed attempts on Booth

The State contends that Modack conspired with former rugby player Zane Kilian, alleged “Modack Enterprise” member Ziyaad Poole and TWS leader Moegamat Brown in the attempted murder of Booth on 9 April 2020 near Oranjezicht, Cape Town.

On Tuesday, Mr A told the court that before this, he carried out surveillance on the lawyer in 2019 and on two occasions planned to shoot him, but was unable to do so because police officers were near Booth.

Mr A was arrested in August 2019 for the illegal possession of a firearm, the weapon he said he used to kill Heerschap, but was released days later.

During his first attempt to kill Booth in late 2019 at Booth’s home in Bishopscourt, Mr A fell asleep in his car while waiting for Booth.

“I was then told by Poole to wait for Booth at Wynberg Magistrates’ Court. I phoned Poole and told him that I saw [Booth’s] silver Ferrari parking not far from the court.

“I moved my car closer to where I had a close view of Booth. Around 1pm, Booth arrived at his car. I walked towards his car with my gun ready to shoot him. But a lot of cops suddenly came to the area and I didn’t shoot Booth,” he said.

The next attempt, according to Mr A, was at the Worcester Magistrates’ Court where Booth was attending court proceedings. Poole is said to have given him R1,000 for petrol.

“I called [alleged TWS member] Riyaat Gesant and told him I need ‘versterking’ [reinforcement]. I went to pick him up and we drove to Worcester. Booth arrived with his car. I parked near his car so that I could shoot him. But members of the Tactical Response Team unexpectedly arrived on the scene and I could not shoot Booth,” he told the court.

According to Mr A, in December 2019, Poole phoned with new information and “I was told to locate the offices of Booth in Bo-Kaap.” He said he took photos of the office and Booth’s car and sent them to Poole.

However, Mr A was arrested in a separate matter before he had another chance to try to kill Booth.

He said he was in Pollsmoor Prison in April 2020 when others attempted to murder Booth.

The court heard that he had a cellphone in prison and received calls from Moegamat Brown in April 2020.

“Brown told me because I couldn’t finish the job on Booth, the hit, he asked Riyaat Gesant and a person called Boet to kill Booth. Later, Riyaat Gesant video-called me from near Booth’s house.

“I told him it was the correct house but the silver Ferrari of Booth was not parked in the driveway.

“The next day, Gesant video-called me again from near Booth’s house. I saw the car and told him it was Booth’s car. Later, at 5pm, I saw on television that there was an attempted hit on Booth,” Mr A said.

Richard Joseph murder

Tow truck driver Richard Joseph was fatally shot on 20 September 2019 at CF Towing Service in Kuils River. On Tuesday, Mr A admitted to killing Joseph and claimed Modack had ordered the murder.

Joseph worked for a towing company whose owner had a dispute with Modack.

“Modack had a meeting with the tow truck owner. When Modack arrived, his enemy ‘Donkie’ Booysen was also there. After this meeting, Modack ordered that the tow truck owner be killed.”

Mr A said he did surveillance on the towing company, CT Towing Service, but Poole called to say the dispute with the owner had been settled. Nevertheless, Poole allegedly said “that I must kill any tow truck driver of this company. This was to show that Modack doesn’t play games.”

On 20 September 2019, Mr A said, he drove to CT Towing Service and parked a distance away. He saw a bakkie idling in the driveway with the driver sitting inside.

“I ran up to the bakkie because I thought the driver was going to move out. I shot him seven times. I ran from the scene towards my car. I then saw K-9 unit members chasing me.

“They ordered me to stand still and fired a warning shot into the air. I turned around and fired three shots at the police. I jumped over several fences before reaching my car.”

Mr A said that Poole phoned him and told him that he had left a package with Brown’s girlfriend.

“When I arrived there, I took the package which contained money wrapped in masking tape. It was R10,000.”

Shooting at police

Two weeks after shooting Joseph, on 11 October 2019, Mr A was walking in Woodstock. He had the gun that was used to kill Joseph. Police tried to stop him and he ran away.

“I shot at the police. They fired back and shot me twice in the right leg and once in the left leg. I threw the gun away. The police called an ambulance and I was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital. I don’t know what happened further. The next morning I woke up and doctors had already carried out an operation. I was handcuffed to the bed,” he said.

He was taken to Woodstock Police Station and charged with attempted murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Following his arrest, he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court.

He said instead of appearing in court, “A court orderly came to me and said I was free to go and then I went to Woodstock.”

This was the second time Mr A had been arrested and released without being formally charged.

While recuperating from his wounds, his leg became swollen and Mr A called Poole.

“Poole arranged for me to meet at Debonairs [Pizza] in Woodstock. He arrived there, gave me R5,000 and told me a Somalian [sic] will take me to a doctor.”

Mr A said he was taken to a doctor in Samora Machel, Khayelitsha. The doctor operated on his leg and it took him two weeks to recover.

The trial continues. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Go all over the WC to courts and corrolate who didnt appear,investigate.

  • Charles Butcher says:

    Same bounty for jooste

  • Anthony Krijger says:

    Its apparent criminals are seemingly able to assassinate people at will, and continue the proliferation of violent crime in this country. This is a direct indictment of senior police management for gross incompetence and/or corruption. Countries with strong policing services don’t have this sort of rampant criminality.

  • Rae Earl says:

    The Police Minister Bheke Cele spends most of his time visiting crime scenes, accomplishing nothing other than making inane remarks which mostly border on sub intelligence rather than being helpful to anyone, police or the public. He should be planning and guiding his staff in setting up methods to eliminate crime and gangsters instead of spending useless time wasting visits to their crime spots.

  • Paddy Ross says:

    There is something seriously wrong with Correctional Services if the prisons can not control the use of cellphones by the inmates of the prisons. There should be regular ‘blitzs’ carried out by armed police looking for cellphones etc. among the prisoners.

  • Wayne Holt says:

    The courts in the Western Cape have already stated that gangsters have infiltrated the senior levels of the police in the province… no wonder

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    The Dark World of low lives! And our police force seems complicit in this shady rotten landscape – is this because they are underpaid and undervalued or because they see how lawlessness is rewarded without consequence so they just join in?

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