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‘It’s going to get ugly’ — Nafiz Modack’s lawyer says witness in Kinnear murder trial made ‘sweetheart deal’ with State

‘It’s going to get ugly’ — Nafiz Modack’s lawyer says witness in Kinnear murder trial made ‘sweetheart deal’ with State
Nafiz Modack and some of his co-accused appear in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on 11 March 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

Alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack has denied testimony in the Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear murder case linking him to multiple murders.

Alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack has denied ordering the murders of Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear, Nicolaas Heerschap and Richard Joseph, and the attempted murders of lawyers William Booth and Andre Naude.

Modack’s lawyer, advocate Bash Sibda, presented his position in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday while cross-examining “Mr A”.


Nafiz Modack appears at Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on 1 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

The State witness, a convicted member of the Terrible West Siders (TWS) gang who could only be referred to as Mr A to protect his identity, has already testified that:

  • He killed Nicolaas Heerschap, the father of former Hawks Warrant Officer Nico Heerschap on 9 July 2019. He said Modack had ordered the murder of Nico Heerschap and congratulated him for killing Heerschap Snr.
  • Modack put up “a ransom of R3-million” to murder Booth.
  • He killed tow truck driver Joseph on the orders of Modack.


Modack denied ordering any of these murders, paying for their execution, or having ever met Mr A.

Sibda put it to Mr A that, “All you had testified against Modack was an attempt to establish credibility by claiming that Modack is the principal accused in Kinnear’s murder. According to my client, Kinnear died three days after his security was removed.

“This is no coincidence, because at the end they [police officers] knew Kinnear wanted to come clean about the improper conduct of himself and his colleagues. Kinnear was going to speak to General Sindile Mfazi.”

Deputy National Police Commissioner of Crime Detection Mfazi died in July 2021 from what was said to be Covid-19 complications. However, questions have surfaced in police circles about whether he was poisoned, with police officers confirming the cause of his death is being investigated.

According to Sibda, Modack believes Kinnear was murdered because he planned to come clean about attempts to frame Modack.


Nafiz Modack in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on 29 January 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais

Kinnear was assassinated in front of his home in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town, on 18 September 2020. Although the gunman has never been apprehended, the State believes it has a solid case to successfully prosecute Modack and debt collector Zane Kilian, who are the two main accused in the murder of Kinnear.

It is also the State’s contention that they conspired to attempt to murder Booth in April 2020.

Modack and Kilian, with 13 other accused, collectively face 124 charges, including murder, attempted murder, corruption, gangsterism, extortion, the illegal interception of communications, money laundering and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The 13 co-accused are Ziyaad Poole, Moegamat Brown, Riyaat Gesant, Fagmeed Kelly, Mario Petersen, Jacque Cronje, Petrus Visser, Janick Adonis, Amaal Jantjies, former AGU Sergeant Ashley Tabisher, Yaseen Modack, Mogamat Mukudam and Ricardo Morgan.

‘Going to get ugly’

Sibda touched on the plea and sentence agreement that Mr A entered into with the State, arguing this had prevented him from receiving a longer term of imprisonment.

Mr A is serving 25 years for the murder of Heerschap, following his plea and sentencing agreement in April 2022. This was a sweetheart deal, Sibda said.

Judge Robert Henney interjected and told Sibda that sentencing was at the discretion of the court and asked Sibda if he was suggesting there had been complicity between the National Prosecuting Authority and the court.

Henney said the advocate was making serious claims without corroborating them.

Sibda said: “I will present evidence and it is going to get ugly.”

He said Modack “had no reason or motive to kill Heerschap [and] denies that [Heerschap’s] son Nico was investigating him at the time of the murder in July 2019.”

Mr A told the court that after he had killed Heerschap he met Modack in Stikland in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. Modack, Mr A said, told him he was proud of the job he had done.

Modack claims that the meeting never happened; he would never go to a location in broad daylight without his bodyguards and he would have exercised extreme caution had he gone to Stikland.

But Mr A said: “Why should I stand here in court and lie to the court and say Modack was there? Modack is lying. I have met him.”

Sibda told Mr A that it seemed unlikely that Modack would come all the way to compliment him when the wrong person had been shot, to which Mr A replied that, while the wrong person was shot, there must have been something in Modack’s favour.

The R60,000 payment allegedly given to the person who killed Heerschap was also a contentious issue. According to the transcript of Mr A’s testimony, he was to be paid R60,000 as the shooter, while a “stukkie” would go to the TWS gang’s camp.

Mr A struggled to explain what he meant by a stukkie. Henney stated that the word “stukkie” had different meanings, which elicited a laugh in the courtroom.

The case continues. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Thank you for your invitation to reading this article free of charge. Much appreciated

    • Alan Watkins says:

      Free of charge? Are you being sarcastic or am I missing something. To make this comment I must be a DM Insider which involves having a subscription to DM. You can read free of charge, but to comment you must have subscribed. Can anyone reply to this?

      • Annie Conway says:

        No money needs to change hands to comment on the DM – one of the only newspapers kind enough to do so.

      • Marc Frick says:

        Alan, ever since I received promotional emails from DM a couple of years ago, telling me one of the benefits of paying to become an insider was the ability to comment on articles, I have wanted to comment many times but just haven’t been able to afford to join yet. So I agreed with your comment, until I read Annie’s comment below and voila, here I am commenting without being a ‘subscriber’. This is very frustrating; I could have commented so many times over the past couple of years. Maybe someone at DM can explain this. I really would love to know when the rules changed and why we weren’t informed; or to be corrected if I’m wrong here.

      • Ben Harper says:

        You’ve been conned, don’t need a subscription to read or comment here

  • Redaa Najaar says:

    Replying and im not a subscriber

  • Rae Earl says:

    These guys will proliferate while the ANC government and its ridiculously hatted simpleton of a Police Minister are allowed to carry on with their demolition of our country. Endsville will be accomplished in short shrift should the EFF or MK join up with the ANC or any other party in coalition. Vote Multi Party/DA or doom awaits South Africa. Could there be a more frightening aspect than Julius Malema as president and Floyd Shivambu as Finance Minister?

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Its going to get ugly,because they are going to try and lie there way out

  • Jon Quirk says:

    If it looks like a slug, leaves slime like a slug and leaves death in it’s wake – it is a Cape Gangster.

    And fear is their stock-in-trade.

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