Cape Town - Underworld boss Cyril Beeka could have been murdered because he had agreed to become a Section 204 State witness and testify against the killers of strip club boss Lolly Jackson and German luxury car dealership owner Uwe Gemballa.
The murders of Gemballa, Jackson and Beeka are among the most sensational underworld killings in the past decade in South Africa.
Thursday marked the second anniversary of Beeka’s murder on Human Rights Day on March 21, 2011.
He was killed 13 months after Gemballa’s death, in February 2010, and 10 months after Jackson, who was shot dead in May 2010.
Weekend Argus has established that Beeka was present during, or immediately after, the attacks on Jackson and Gemballa, and that:
* Beeka knew how the gunman who killed Jackson acquired the gun, and was tasked with getting rid of the gun following Jackson’s killing. Beeka is suspected of having dragged Jackson’s body from the murder scene, then trying to put it into a Jeep. But the body was too heavy.
* Beeka’s security guards were present when Gemballa was tortured. Security footage shows a person buying pay-as-you-go top-up vouchers which were allegedly used by security personnel employed by Beeka, who held Gemballa hostage, to enable Gemballa to phone his wife in Germany – to ask for a ransom of e1 million (R12.1m).
The State offered Beeka the deal on condition he not only gave the courts a full account of how Jackson and Gemballa were murdered, but that his testimony would lead to the conviction of the murderers of the two men, sources close to the investigation have revealed.
High-profile forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan confirmed this week that Beeka was about to conclude a 204 deal with the State, saying he believed this was the motive for the Beeka killing.
“Cyril Beeka was murdered because he knew what happened to Uwe Gemballa and Lolly Jackson,” O’Sullivan said.
Another prominent investigator from Joburg, the head of IRS forensic investigations and independent organised crime investigator Chad Thomas, also confirmed the 204 deal.
“You are correct about the 204. That information was leaked, resulting in the order for his (Beeka’s) hit,” Thomas said.
Attempts to get confirmation from State investigators about the Section 204 deal with Beeka proved unsuccessful.
But another insider who is familiar with the details of the murders, and who spoke to Weekend Argus on condition of anonymity, said: “They (the State) weren’t prepared to go for a deal unless it could secure a conviction. They didn’t want to end up with egg on their face like in the Brett Kebble case.”
A similar indemnity deal, in accordance with Section 204 of the Criminal Procedures Act, was offered to the three self-confessed killers in the 2005 murder of mining magnate Kebble in Joburg. This was in exchange for implicating drug dealer Glen Agliotti in the murder, but the deal blew up in the State’s face as all of them walked free in the end.
In exchange for his testimony, Beeka, a big player in the security, adult entertainment and diamond dealing industries, would receive indemnity from prosecution.
O’Sullivan said meetings regarding the deal were to have taken place in the week following Beeka’s murder.
It is understood that Beeka had not yet made any sworn statements in connection with the Jackson and Gemballa killings, but that he had made verbal statements to investigators.
But before he could make written statements, he was killed in Bellville after being shot twice in the head with a 9mm, and several times in the body with a Magnum 45.
His murder followed that of Gemballa, who was well-known for modifying Porches and other luxury cars. He was kidnapped minutes after landing at OR Tambo Airport in Joburg on February 8, 2010. His body was only found in October, eight months later.
Jackson, the self-styled King of Teaze, was shot dead in Joburg in May 2010.