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Cape Town - Less than a week before Hard Livings gang boss Rashied Staggie is expected to be released on day parole, his son will fight for his own freedom.
Staggie’s son, Abdul Taliep Boonzaaier, 24, has been in custody for about 10 days. It is alleged that Boonzaaier was found in possession of a 9mm calibre pistol, ammunition and counterfeit banknotes with a face value of more than R100 000.
Police were allegedly on his trail on August 17, but he managed to get away.
“Boonzaaier had disappeared until now,” prosecutor Charlean Olivier-Manuel said during his first court appearance on August 30.
Boonzaaier, who according to the charge sheet is a member of the Hard Livings gang, had handed himself over to police two days earlier.
His lawyer, Marcello Stevens, had asked the court that the case be postponed for a bail application, but it was instead postponed to ascertain Boonzaaier’s criminal profile.
This included whether he had previous convictions, pending cases, outstanding warrants for his arrest and whether he was a flight risk.
The State is opposing bail for Boonzaaier.
The provisional charges against Boonzaaier include fraud, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
On Friday, advocate Piet Steyn, from the offices of the director of public prosecutions, said he would represent the State in the bail application and trial.
Stevens said the defence would appoint advocate Pete Mihalik to represent Boonzaaier during his formal bail application on September 19.
Meanwhile, Staggie is due to be released on day parole on September 23. In May, the Department of Correctional Services announced that the Breede River parole board had decided to release Staggie on day parole.
Last week, prison authorities said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding unauthorised items, which could include cellphones and drugs, found in Staggie’s communal jail cell.
Last Tuesday James Smalberger, of the Correctional Services Department, said a case management committee and parole board would look into the unauthorised items matter, but as it stood, Staggie was set to be released on day parole on September 23.
He is serving a 15-year jail sentence for the kidnapping and rape of a 17-year-old girl, which runs concurrently with a 13-year sentence he received in 2004 for stealing weapons from the Faure police armoury.
Earlier Simphiwe Xako, spokesman for the department, said the parole board had considered a number of factors, including Staggie’s positive support system, the fact that he behaved well inside prison and had no disciplinary offences.
Staggie also completed a number of required programmes in prison, had served more than two-thirds of his sentence, and his accomplices had already been released.
Staggie will have to return to prison at night until his release on full parole on March 25.
Cape Argus and IOL