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Glomix ban — Treasury blacklists 28s gang case accused Nicole Johnson’s company for 10 years

Glomix ban — Treasury blacklists 28s gang case accused Nicole Johnson’s company for 10 years
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA ñ SEPTEMBER 15: Nicole Johnson and husband Ralph Stanfield are seen at the Cape Town Regional Court on September 16, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. R (Photo by Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais)

In 2023, the City of Cape Town blacklisted businesses that could damage its reputation, linked to Nicole Johnson, a crime accused and the wife of suspected 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield. Now, National Treasury too has restricted one of her companies.

A scandal involving the City of Cape Town and a flurry of accusations linked to Nicole Johnson and her husband, alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, is developing into a national one.

On Sunday, 7 April 2024, Police Minister Bheki Cele even referred to the couple in a speech about cop successes.

“In the Western Cape, gang cartels involved in extortion-related crimes have been dismantled, through the arrest of Ralph Stanfield, his wife and two other accused,” Cele said.

His speech roughly coincided with National Treasury restricting Johnson’s company, Glomix House Brokers, meaning it may not do business with the government for a decade.

In 2023, TimesLIVE reported that it had emerged, via court proceedings linked to the couple, that Stanfield was permanently employed by Glomix, earning R40,000 a month.

Daily Maverick has also reported that Glomix had intermittently, for more than a decade, been involved in housing projects in Cape Town worth millions of rands.

That has now changed dramatically.

Ten-year government ban

According to a Treasury document, headed “Restricted Supplier and Tender Defaulter Report”, Glomix was blacklisted on 28 March 2024. This was to remain in effect for a decade, until 27 March 2034.

The reason listed for its restriction read: “Submission of fraudulent BBBEE Certificate.”

According to the Treasury document, the “City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality” authorised the blacklisting. 

Two years ago, in a meeting about National Treasury and blacklistings, Parliament heard about the criteria for placing restrictions on companies.

“Under the current framework, the accounting officer at the purchasing entity was responsible for requesting any restriction on a supplier or on associated individuals,” according to minutes of that meeting. 

“Treasury then recorded the restriction in its central database. A decision to restrict a supplier could arise from internal processes, from a court default judgement, or from a referral by law enforcement agencies.”

Underlying issues

The national blacklisting of Glomix is the latest in a series of crackdowns to which Johnson and Stanfield are either directly or indirectly linked.

Issues started heating up in March 2023 when 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: ‘I want to live my life’ — ex-Cape Town mayco member Malusi Booi quits as councillor seven months after police raid

Stanfield’s name cropped up in that investigation.

The same month of the raid on Booi’s office – March 2023 – Daily Maverick reported that Glomix House Brokers was still involved in building homes for the City of Cape Town, in the suburb of Valhalla Park, parts of which are 28s gang strongholds.

That was despite residents raising concerns four years earlier about the company and suspected gang links.

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

Months after the raid on Booi’s office, in September 2024, Johnson and Stanfield were arrested in their home in the upmarket suburb of Constantia for matters seemingly unrelated to Glomix.

They faced charges relating to a vehicle theft, and in Stanfield’s case, attempted murder.

The couple are still in custody for that case, which is expected to resume in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court next month.

(It is this case Cele was talking about when he referred to Stanfield and Johnson in his 7 April speech.)

Reputational risk and construction mafias

While they have been behind bars, issues relating to Glomix have developed.

In December the City of Cape Town confirmed it had blacklisted seven companies linked to Johnson “based on the risk they pose to the city’s reputation”.

It did not name the companies.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Risky business — City of Cape Town blacklists companies linked to 28s gang case accused Nicole Johnson

In the same month that the blacklisting was confirmed, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) named Stanfield and Johnson in a statement about construction mafia crimes.

While such lawlessness is a problem across South Africa, housing sites across Cape Town have been targeted by violent construction mafias.

In its statement from December, the SIU said: “A notable recent arrest has been that of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield and his wife, Nicole Johnson.

“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.”

Firearm licence fraud 

Aside from the criminal accusations Stanfield and Johnson face in connection with their arrests in September 2023, they are also accused in another case.

It links to 2014 when Stanfield and Johnson were arrested in connection with allegations that police members at the South African Police Service’s 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.

That case is ongoing.

It also highlights how, even after Stanfield and Johnson were criminally charged in 2014, Glomix still managed to secure work with the City of Cape Town.

Murders

Meanwhile, Daily Maverick has reported on several murders that appear to be linked to broader gang and construction mafia issues in Cape Town.

In February 2023, City of Cape Town official Wendy Kloppers was gunned down in Delft, at the Symphony Way Housing Project building site.

City manager Lungelo Mbandazayo had told IOL she was killed after the City refused to give in to gangsters’ demands for work from contractors at the housing project.

Her murder resulted in the City investigating certain construction-related tenders, which in turn led to companies linked to Johnson being blacklisted.

Meanwhile, in March 2023, the month Kloppers was killed, a man by the name of Ernest McLaughlin was murdered in the Cape Town suburb of Belhar.

He had faced charges alongside Johnson and Stanfield in the fraudulent firearm licences case for which they were arrested in 2014.

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

In the latest case they face, for which they are still in state custody, 

a police investigator alleged in an affidavit that McLaughlin had worked for Stanfield.

Daily Maverick previously reported that McLaughlin appeared to have been linked to companies including Glomix. DM

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