Watch the Sitholes every Thursday at 17h30 on e.tv
Cape Town - “I will speak in court.”
These five words, accompanied by a large squiggle, formed the entire contents of a statement Abdul Boonzaaier, the son of Hard Livings gang kingpin Rashied Staggie, gave to police in December 2011 when he was arrested in connection with drug-related charges.
Boonzaaier has repeatedly denied dealing in drugs, and objected to being labelled the son of a drug lord, saying he is a businessman in good standing with Sars.
However, the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) doesn’t believe his story. This week it secured a Western Cape High Court order allowing it to attach cash found on him at the time of his arrest.
Although the cash amounted to a mere R14 390, the AFU believes it is connected to a bigger drug-dealing operation that has Boonzaaier at its centre.
According to court papers, police were conducting patrols in Manenberg when they spotted Boonzaaier in Manenberg Avenue, getting out of a VW Golf.
When they called him, he ran off and the police gave chase.
Boonzaaier was eventually apprehended in the kitchen of a house in Manenberg Avenue.
According to the police, he threw a packet on the floor when police caught him.
It was later established that the packet contained tik.
Police found the cash in the pockets of the jacket he was wearing at the time. The money has since been deposited into a police account for safekeeping.
AFU investigator Ricardo Rhoda said in an affidavit that Boonzaaier had not provided an explanation for carrying such a large sum of cash.
Rhoda said he had conducted numerous investigations into crimes involving a motive of profit.
“In the process I have become familiar with the organisational structure of criminal enterprises, the manner used by criminal enterprises to sell contraband items, as well as the methods used by criminals to avoid detection of their assets and launder the proceeds of their criminal activity,” he added.
He believed that the cash seized from Boonzaaier was derived from drug dealing.
Boonzaaier is charged with several gang-related crimes under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, dealing in drugs, possession of an unlicensed firearm, removal of a serial number, possession of ammunition, possession of counterfeit notes, and money laundering. Four cases of drug trafficking dating to 2011 were added to his charges.
He is to appear in the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court in September.