Cape Town - A network of sex workers controlled by a pimp involved in gangsterism and satanism has been uncovered in the Cape peninsula.
Through an investigation into an assassination in Strand two months ago, it emerged that the dark lord of Cape Town’s’s underworld goes by the alias The Priest. His real name is known to Weekend Argus. He allegedly heads the operation and is a satanist.
He is said to recruit and groom sex workers to perform satanic rituals – done behind closed doors, unbeknown to clients – which include drinking blood, usually that of animals.
The rituals form part of the gang’s customs.
Sources said The Priest was linked to the murder of 28s gang leader Nathaniel Moses, 32, also known as Nigga, in Strand in January.
In another twist in this bizarre case, allegations have surfaced a high-profile gang leader previously named a suspect in another underworld killing, ordered the hit on Moses.
But a gang source who knew Moses this week denied Moses was linked to satanism or sex workers and insisted he had never heard of The Priest.
He said Moses was in fact murdered after rival factions formed within the 28s.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato told Weekend Argus the connection between gangsterism and satanism was a massive problem in Cape Town.
“The gangster and drug trade on the Cape Flats is closely linked to satanism. Youngsters we interview, that’s what they tell us.
“They’re groomed to kill, to see blood.”
Satanism and its links to crime were in the spotlight this week when 20-year-old Aljar Swartz was found guilty in the Western Cape High Court of beheading Lee Adams, 15, in Ravensmead three years ago.
Swartz claimed he’d been under the control of Satan at the time.
Moses was shot at least six times in the head outside a car rental dealership in Main Road, Strand, on January 15.
Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said: “A case of murder is still under investigation. No one has been arrested.”
But senior police sources, a gang source and another with close links to policing elaborated on the case, saying it had exposed intricate underworld dealings.
Weekend Argus has also seen evidence of this.
Moses was killed by two gunmen who walked up to his car and fired several shots at point blank range. He died at the scene.
Moses, who at one stage owned a club in Strand which closed in December, was the gang boss of a faction of the 28s called The Mobsters. A police source said they had carried out hits for 28s gang kingpin George “Geweld” Thomas who was last year sentenced to seven life terms in jail.
Weekend Argus understands The Priest had been trying to take control of The Mobsters and that Moses’s murder may have paved the way.
This is where the sex workers fit in.
Two sources confirmed The Priest recruited sex workers who operated in areas including Voortrekker Road and Strand.
“The prostitutes are recruited and go through satanic rituals,” one said.
One source said men under The Priest went into various clubs recruited attractive women and took them to more upmarket clubs and lavished them with gifts.
Eventually they were introduced to sex work and satanic rituals.
Two sources told Weekend Argus the hit on Moses was carried out by members of the Sexy Boys gang, which had a stronghold in areas including Belhar.
The gang source said while he did not know about The Priest, there were rumours the Sexy Boys had offered R1 million to have Moses killed.
He said weeks before the murder, 28s gangsters were beaten up by Sexy Boys gangsters at a popular Bellville club.
The gang source said infighting in the 28s started a few months before the murder, when Moses had decided to forgive a woman he had a fallout with.
This infuriated other 28s and caused some members to turn on Moses, who they denounced as their leader.
Moses had received threats and changed his routine in an attempt to avoid ambush.
The gang source said Moses seemed to have known he was going be murdered and tried to turn his life around in the weeks leading up it.
He was learning to play the guitar and be peaceful.
“What happened had to happen. That guy knew he was on his way out.” The second source confirmed this, saying women who tried to get out of the network went missing.
Members of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce had not heard of sex workers involved in satanism.
Occult rites in the fear-filled ganglands
Occult practices started filtering into criminal gangs less than two decades ago.
Johan de Beer is a former head of the police’s occult-related crime unit in the Free State and the director of the Auksano trauma centre in Bloemfontein. He said the centre helps “victims of destructive subcultures” and he believed elements of witchcraft in Lesotho evolved, spread and became part of gang culture.
He told Weekend Argus that about two decades ago “evil churches,” headed by so-called kings and queens, had been set up there.
“These jumped the border.”
A more formalised gang known as the 666, whose members participated in “spiritually motivated crimes” which included blood sacrifices and murders, stemmed from this.
De Beer said 666 members had become members of gangs, including the 26s and 28s and what they practised then spread.
“It became more violent and militaristic. It’s an emerging movement… Some 28s said: ‘We won’t stand for this.’ It resulted in prison fights four or five years ago.”
De Beer said there were many gang members in the Western Cape who followed devil-worshipping rituals.
He said a number of killings, viewed as murders, were actually “blood sacrifices” they carried out.