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Cape Town - The son of alleged Hard Livings gang boss Rashied Staggie says he is not a gang member but a businessman in good standing with Sars, a family man and one actively involved in the Manenberg community.
Applying for bail in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursdat, Abdul Boonzaaier, 25, said he had “been labelled as the son of a gang leader”. His appearance in court on Thursday came less than a week before his father is set to be released on day parole.
Staggie will be released on September 23 after a 13-year sentence for rape and for stealing weapons from the Faure police armoury.
The State claims Boonzaaier is not the businessman he professes to be, but is a “well-known drug dealer contributing to the downfall of society”.
The State also claims he has no fixed assets, is unemployed and launders the proceeds of illegal deals.
Boonzaier is charged with 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Four cases of drug trafficking dating to 2011 were added to his charges - charges which had initially been withdrawn.
He was most recently arrested on August 17, after allegedly running away from the police. Police claim Boonzaaier, pictured, parked his red Golf cabriolet in Dorothy Court, but when the police tried to search the vehicle he fled. The police found 198 live rounds of ammunition, and counterfeit cash with a face value of R90 000. Boonzaaier later turned himself in.
In a previous incident on May 18, police said they allegedly found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition in a white Golf GTI that allegedly belonged to Boonzaaier. The police said they watched him pull up in the car outside a known drug den and go inside. When they searched the vehicle they said they found a gun with the serial number filed off.
In an affidavit read out by defence advocate Pete Mihalik, Boonzaaier told the court that he was a “family man who runs a legitimate business whose standing with the receiver of revenue is good, and if I had been a member of a gang or committed acts of violence with a gang I would have been prosecuted and convicted of such offences a long time ago”.
“I grew up under very difficult circumstances and my father was incarcerated when I was relatively young. The charge of money laundering is so vague I can’t even respond to it.” He said for the State to prosecute him it would have to show that he was disguising an illegal income source. The State is opposing bail.
State prosecutor Piet Steyn told the court of the Hard Livings gang, their strongholds in Manenberg and the fact that the gang comprised 1 200 members.
He pointed to their identifying marks - the letters “HL” - tattooed on Boonzaaier’s hands. Steyn said Boonzaaier had his “own cell of people subordinate to him”.
The case was postponed to Wednesday.