PICS: Heavy police presence as Modack, co-accused appear in Cape Town courts
Cape Town - There was a heavy police presence, with even Police Minister Bheki Cele and the provincial police commissioner, when alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack and two co-accused appeared in Cape Town and Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Courts.
Modack, Jacques Cronje and Ricardo Morgan spent the weekend behind bars after they were arrested on Thursday, following investigations by the Hawks’ national task team, a special task force, the Anti-Gang Unit, the Vehicle Safeguarding Unit and Crime Scene Management.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Modack, Cronje and Morgan were charged with money laundering, kidnapping, intimidation, extortion and contravening the Electronic Communications Act.
According to the charge sheet, Modack and Morgan are also facing charges for conspiracy to commit murder for the attempted murder of attorney William Booth.
Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said the suspects were arrested by the team in Century City. When the team allegedly attempted to stop them, they accelerated in one of the vehicles, narrowly missing one of the officers.
“A high-speed chase ensued, and the suspects were cornered at Sable Road and arrested. During the arrest, two vehicles were searched. Two unlicensed firearms were recovered inside a Mercedes-Benz, with two occupants, that was stopped,” said Mogale.
She said an unlicensed firearm was recovered in the second vehicle, a Toyota Hilux, with two occupants.
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Modack is also facing corruption charges, together with three other accomplices, including a police officer, who were arrested over the weekend. They appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court today.
Modack has now been charged with the conspiracy to commit murder and with attempted murder following the foiled attack on Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear and his family back in 2019.
He also appeared together with an Anti-Gang Unit officer Ashley Tabisher who is facing charges of corruption. That matter is related to an ongoing case happening at the Parow regional court.
Both cases that were heard in Bishops Lavis were postponed to Monday.
There was a heavily police presence outside the court as well on Tuesday.
Outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Cele said he came to the province to congratulate the team that was dealing with the case, and the other cases including that of a cash-in-transit heist in Macassar last week.
Community Policing Forum (CPF) provincial chairperson Fransina Lukas, welcomed the arrests and hoped for convictions, “as those were organised crimes which threatened the safety and security of the communities”.
Lukas said the Prevention of Organised Crime Act needed to be implemented to the letter and the seizure of assets of the convicted should take place, which would go a long way in deterring high-flyers and syndicates.
Guy Lamb, a criminologist at Stellenbosch University’s political science department, said in terms of those cases, ideally the state, the prosecuting authority and the police wanted to secure convictions, so they wanted to make sure the level and the standard of evidence was very robust, so it was important that they have done their investigations properly.
Lamb said it was also important that they have used the law properly when they were undertaking an investigation, in particular when it comes to raids, when they have gone into suspects’ houses and gathered evidence, in that way they would have followed the law.
“Otherwise, if they haven’t, then the case could be thrown out of court, and ideally they want a watertight case for those individuals because they are high profile cases,” said Lamb.
He said they should make sure that they have obtained evidence and reliable witnesses when they go to court, and that they have a highly professional investigation with which the defence lawyers can’t find weaknesses, which result in the case being thrown out of the court.