Alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack, accused of extortion and money laundering, appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday. Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - Alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack, accused of extortion and money laundering, appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday where his defence team grilled the police’s investigating officer over procedures followed in his investigation.

Charl Kinnear, who headed the police’s investigation against Modack and his co-accused, Colin Booysen, Ashley Field and Jacques Cronje, was peppered with questions from one of Modack’s legal counsel, Dirk Uys.

The four face charges of money laundering and extortion linked to the hostile takeover of security at city restaurants and nightclubs. According to Kinnear’s testimony, there was animosity between Modack and controversial businessman Mark Lifman.

The group was apprehended in December 2017 for allegedly trying to extort R90000 from the Grand Africa Café at the V&A Waterfront.

Kinnear said based on his experience at a now defunct gang unit, Jeremy Vearey decided he was the best person to steer the investigation. After Kinnear received the statement from his junior, Sharon Japhta, he opted to open an inquiry and not a case.

Uys asked Kinnear at the time when State witness Stuart Bailey’s statement was initially handed to him, if the contents thereof did indeed justify a case of extortion, to which he replied, “yes”. “It was my opinion that a docket should have been opened. After examining the statement, I was satisfied that a case of extortion had to be opened, but I did not do so and after discussing it with Jaftha and Vearey, I decided to open an inquiry,” Kinnear said.

The defence also probed Kinnear on why he failed to make an entry to the effect that witnesses he had approached had refused to talk to him.

It became clear during the defence’s line of questioning that only after the state prosecutor alerted him to this that Kinnear eventually made a statement on September 13, 2019 in this regard.

“There a number of things that seem unusual in this matter. In the first instance Japhta didn’t inform you about a meeting she had with Radley Dijkers the brand manager at the Grand Cafe and Liftman. Secondly why did Japtha hold unto a statement relating to this matter without registering a case.”

Kinnear will continue on Thursday on the stand before Magistrate Byron Pedro.

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