Johannesburg - Police are closing the net around Radovan Krejcir’s network of henchmen. This week they recovered guns believed to have been used to assassinate the Czech fugitive’s alleged associate.
As Krejcir appeared with seven others in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning, police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale told The Star officers had recovered weapons which were “key to charging Krejcir and his associates with (Sam) Issa’s murder”.
Issa, believed to be Krejcir’s associate, was killed in a hail of bullets in Bedfordview in October.
Krejcir has been detained by the police since last year. He also faces attempted murder and kidnapping charges.
He was initially arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a relative of an alleged business associate after a large shipment of tik went missing.
He was then charged with plotting the assassination of investigators probing his affairs.
Initially, there was a suspicion that the gun used was an R5 assault rifle but police are now convinced an AK47 and a 9mm pistol were used.
“The ballistic report on the R5 recovered in January in Rivonia came back negative. But the task team has been working very hard to find these murder weapons. Last night, the team found the weapons,” said Makgale.
Friday morning’s revelation comes a day after police arrested the owner of a security company who was working for Krejcir.
The man, Michael Milton, was arrested on Wednesday night in Morningside, Durban.
“It is alleged that he was providing the alleged Krejcir hit men with GPS co-ordinates of the victims’ location,” Makgale said.
“This is a massive success and the National (Police) Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega, congratulated the Krejcir investigating team and said she was extremely proud of the excellent work they were doing,” he said.
The man did not appear with Krejcir and seven of his other co-accused on Friday morning on charges related to a plot to murder forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba in January.
The other accused who appeared alongside Krejcir are Siboniso Miya, Sergeant Nandi Nkosi, Welcome Mafunda, Zoe Biyela, Owen Serero, and Siphiwe Memela.
The eighth co-accused, Jacob Nare, who is out on bail, was confirmed to be missing from proceedings but his mysterious absence was not explained before court.
The matter was postponed to July 4 for the State to amend its indictment against all eight and to transfer the matter to the High Court in Johannesburg.
Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba said all the accused were also likely to be charged with the murder of Zimbabwean debt collector Phumlani Ncube.
Previously, Gcaba said only four of them would be charged with Ncube’s death.
The indictment was initially expected to have been finalised for Friday’s appearance and the matter moved to a high court. However, the arrest of Krejcir’s accountant, Lyubomir “Mike” Grigorov, on Monday had meant the State needed more time, Gcaba said.
Krejcir’s attorney, advocate Annelene van den Heever, strongly objected to Friday morning’s postponement.
She questioned why Grigorov, who reports to a police station twice a week as bail conditions for a separate matter, was only arrested this week when the investigation had been going on since January.
“The only reason I can think of is to delay this matter again,” she said.
The courtroom was packed with police and correctional services guards, all of whom were heavily armed, and everyone in the gallery was searched.
Van den Heever also objected to the accused being shackled at the ankles and asked that the leg-irons be removed.
Magistrate Renier Boshoff heeded her call, saying: “Let the leg-irons be removed, I think there’s enough firepower here.”
Gcaba also entered into the record that Ncube’s family had objected to Van den Heever representing Krejcir.
“Prior to his death, the deceased was a client of Ms Van den Heever. She apparently appeared for the deceased on numerous crimes,” said Gcaba.
Van den Heever objected to this and said that her only clients were the instructing attorneys who represented accused people and that Ncube’s crimes had nothing to do with the current matter.
“I see no conflict of interest. I have approached the Bar Council,” she said.
“They are fully au fait with the matter and they see no conflict of interest.” – Additional reporting by Solly Maphumulo