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Johannesburg - Four years after the death of strip magnate Lolly Jackson, the state has finally revealed more details surrounding the night he was assassinated.
The charge sheet, which was only finalised on Friday at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court, indicates the state intends to prove that the Teazers boss was seemingly lured into the home of George Louca (aka George Smith) in Edleen. According to the document, on Monday, May 3, 2010, Louca and Jackson had numerous conversations throughout the day, eventually culminating in a meeting somewhere in the East Rand suburb. The pair then went on to Louca’s house nearby, where “a scuffle broke out between the two of them in the lounge area”. The brawl turned deadly when Louca allegedly took out his gun and fired several shots at Jackson, injuring him critically.
Jackson died at the scene, and the State believes Louca pulled Jackson’s body into the garage before fleeing.
He subsequently managed to escape the country, and landed up in Limassol, Cyprus, where he was only arrested more than a year later.
However, the State’s version does not explain who drove two vehicles linked to the crime. Jackson’s vehicle – a white Jeep – was found abandoned the next day in Bedfordview, while Louca’s Peugeot Boxer was found next to Modderfontein Road.
The document also fails to explain:
l Why the firearm used to kill Jackson was only found in the garage an entire week after the murder occurred and police had already cleared the scene.
l Why Czech businessman and suspected underworld kingpin, Radovan Krejcir, is a State witness in the case. Numerous reports have linked Krejcir to Jackson’s business dealings, and that the Czech may have been involved in the hit job itself.
l Why former head of Crime Intelligence Joey Mabasa is not on the witness list, even though police at the time of the murder confirmed Louca had allegedly confessed to him about the shooting?
Other notable witnesses set to be called by the state include Jackson’s brother, Constantine (Costa), and an associate of Krejcir, Michael Arsiotis, believed to have been fundamental in running Krejcir’s MoneyPoint business in Bedfordview.
However, it’s understood that Arsiotis may no longer be in South Africa.
After more than a year of court battles in Cyprus, Louca was extradited to South Africa in February.
He was charged not only with Jackson’s murder, but a separate incident of possession of stolen property.
Since then, The Star reported on Louca’s precarious financial situation, which was also confirmed at the court on Friday morning.
Louca’s new lawyer Owen Blumberg told the court that while he would be representing Louca for the murder, his client’s funds would most likely be stretched too thin to afford his services for the stolen property case.
Blumberg told the court he would remain Louca’s lawyer but could withdraw on the secondary case at a later stage, meaning that his client would have to apply for legal aid.
The court was also told to be wary of revealing any details of where Louca was being held, and once again the Cypriot was surrounded by his usual heavily armed protective task team.
The team has made a habit of sweeping the Kempton Park court for potential threats, and searching any and all people entering the courtroom.
This seems to corroborate Louca’s claims in an interview with The Star in 2012 that if he returned to South Africa to reveal what he knew about the murder, his life would be in serious danger.
During this interview, he claimed that he was innocent, and had not been the one to pull the trigger.
He also said that the local criminal underworld would come crashing down should he reveal what he knew. The Saturday Star understands that Louca will be pleading not guilty for the murder when the trial begins at the high court sitting at Palm Ridge, on January 26 next year.
Meanwhile, the stolen property charges were also addressed at court on Friday.
Louca was allegedly in possession of R1.5 million worth of goods from Skye Footwear, and another R280 000 worth of property from other companies during 2006 and 2007. This secondary case will continue at the Kempton Park court and was postponed to July 17 for a provisional charge sheet to be handed over to the defence.
Louca’s links to Krejcir were also apparent in the Sars preservation order against the Czech businessman, who was arrested in November last year on a kidnapping and attempted murder charge.
In Sars’s founding affidavit, it revealed that Louca had borrowed more than R3.7 million in loans from Krejcir’s company, G2B. When Louca defaulted on his payments, a number of expensive assets were seized, including a Bavaria Motoryacht and dozens of other motor vehicles.
Meanwhile, Krejcir has also been charged with the kidnapping of a relative of a business associate after a large shipment of tik coming into the country mysteriously went missing.
Krejcir has also been accused of plotting to murder the investigators conducting a probe on his affairs.