‘Kingpins’ plead not guilty: Lifman and Donkie deny murder of ‘Steroid King’

In court: Alleged gang boss Jerome ‘Donkie’ Booysen. Photographer: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

In court: Alleged gang boss Jerome ‘Donkie’ Booysen. Photographer: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 23, 2024


Alleged underworld kingpins Mark Lifman and Jerome “Donkie” Booysen have denied they conspired or paid for the assassination of slain steroid king Brian Wainstein.

After years of delays, the notorious duo have finally gone on trial, this week, at the Western Cape High Court.

Tense interactions were seen around the court building as the duo’s alleged rival, Nafiz Modack, and his co-accused appeared in the court room next door for the murder of Anti-Gang Unit detective, Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear.

The two groups were seen given death stares as cops closed down several streets outside and monitored the men associated with either side.

Feud: Co-accused Mark Lifman. Photographer: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

According to the indictment, the rivalry dates back to 2016 when Lifman, Donkie, his brother Colin Booysen and Andre Naude established a “brotherhood” to oversee all the bouncers at Cape Town clubs.

It states that in May 2016 a violent altercation broke out between Colin and another person at Coco Bar and Colin complained that his own brother had brought 27s gang members, including alleged gang boss William “Red” Stevens, who were apparently the cause of the problems.

The split was allegedly negotiated by Naude, with Colin leaving the brotherhood and allegedly joining Modack.

Killed: ‘Steroid King’ Brian Wainstein. Picture on file

The documents state that Colin and Modack then started a hostile takeover of the clubs from Lifman and Donkie, leading to a bitter rivalry which would result in years of attempted murder plots.

Red, who was assassinated before he could go on trial, allegedly volunteered his men to take the clubs back by force.

The documents claim that in the same year, Lifman was in conflict with Wainstein over property and investments.

In July 2017, there was a failed attempt to murder alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, who was believed to be an associate of Wainstein.

The State allege that Wainstein believed Lifman was behind the botched hit and planned to murder one of his bodyguards in retaliation.

The indictment further alleged that a plot to murder Wainstein was later hatched between Lifman and the 27s gang.

It reads: “Accused 1 [Lifman] indicated that he was not willing to pay more than R250,000 as he had paid R500,000 for the hit on Stanfield and the hit was unsuccessful.”

Wainstein was later shot and killed in his Constantia home.

During court proceedings, Donkie and Lifman appeared calm as they pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them, via their advocates.

They both submitted plea explanations, stating that they deny ever meeting with members of the 27s gang to plot attacks on nightclubs as well as planning and funding the assassination of Wainstein.

They were joined in the dock by Andre Naude, Sam Farquharson, Egan Norman, police officer Wayne Henderson, Ricardo Maarman, Typhenne Jantjies, Bevan Hendricks, Bradley De Bula, Kashief Hanslo, Rowendal Stevens, Ishmail Cupido and Igor ‘The Russian’ Russol.

The entire group pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial continues.

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