Cape Town. 120223. Mark Lifman leaves the Cape Town Magistrate court with his lawyer William Booth after being released on R1000 bail for his involvment in un registered security company, SPS Photo by Michael Walker

Underworld groups are jockeying to take control of the city’s lucrative bouncer and drugs business following the shutdown of Specialised Protection Services and the arrest of its bosses.

Douglas “Dougie” Fivaz, who heads venue management company CP Security, has reportedly struck a deal with SPS which allows it to continue operations, but under the legal umbrella of his company. So clubs now pay their fees to CP instead of SPS.

There are now fears that unless the authorities step in decisively, there could be a new round of bouncer wars.

At the start of the year SPS controlled security at nearly 200 entertainment venues across the Peninsula, employing about 400 bouncers, most of them Congolese. The rise of SPS – run by Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman and northern suburbs bouncer boss Andre Naude, and which had close links with Belhar’s Sexy Boys gang – followed the murder of Cape Town club security kingpin Cyril Beeka in March last year.

Things changed, however, when the courts effectively declared SPS illegal in February, on the grounds that it was not registered.

The crackdown on SPS saw Lifman, Naude and SPS manager Richard van Zyl arrested. Bouncers from venues, including The Loop, Spacebar, The Dubliner, Assembly, The Fez, The Castle Bar, Mercury Live and The Shack, were also arrested.

Those emerging from the shake-up to fight for control include:

l Radovan Krejcir, a Czech fugitive from Joburg, who was involved in Beeka’s security businesses, and who recently held talks with some of the SPS bosses and a Congolese man known as “Ton Ton,” said to have the support of 200 Congolese bouncers.

l Beeka’s friend, André Fabing, who is allegedly trying to get contracts and holding talks with Americans gang members. In the underworld turf carve-up of the Beeka dispensation, the Americans were cut in on the deal, allegedly as preferred drug suppliers. Sources say the Fabing move is aimed at restoring the old status quo, and cutting out the SPS-aligned Sexy Boys gang.

l Self-confessed killer Mikey Schultz from Joburg, one of the three men who killed mining magnate Brett Kebble, held talks in Cape Town in December with security bosses previously aligned to Beeka and Pro-Security, with a view to challenging SPS.

An intelligence source told Weekend Argus that Schultz met Jacques Cronje, Beeka’s former frontman in Pro Security, last in December at a time when Cronje’s relationship with SPS was going sour. This has been denied by a source close to Schultz, who said Schultz visited Cape Town because “he just wanted to make sure he and his friends were safe while partying in Cape Town”.

l A number of former Pro-Security bouncers who are registered have been entering into doorman contracts with clubs, and are seeking to cut the “protection fee” out of the deal.

l A security boss who worked for Naudé before the formation of SPS, known only as Egon, is making inroads in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. He persuaded at least two nightclubs in Claremont and one in Plumstead to cancel their contracts with SPS, and sign up with him. A row erupted after SPS manager Van Zyl tried to stop the club signing with Egon. Van Zyl was arrested for intimidation.

In spite of the competition, it appears that SPS is not prepared to let go.

And it has emerged that Lifman remains involved: Not only does his SPS Sea Point office telephone number appear on the CP invoices, but they also name his secretary Shamielah Davids as the contact person.

Asked for comment, Davids confirmed she was Lifman’s secretary and was working from the SPS offices.

Her e-mail address also features on the invoices, which include the name of a Lifman company, juicedenim.

Various club owners confirmed they were still contracted to SPS, which they said had changed its name to CP.

“SPS is now CP. They just dropped their name and became CP. I’m paying them because it’s better to pay, because otherwise you can expect your place to be smashed to pieces,” one said.

Another revealed that the same people were still collecting the fees.

“I signed a document saying that no strong-arm tactics were used to get me to sign. SPS is now operating under a new name and they’re collecting the fees. I’m obviously not happy to pay, but I need the protection for my business, just like I need protection for my home,” he said.

Commenting on the issue, Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato urged club owners to refuse to pay the fees.

“This is clear extortion and it is illegal,” he said.

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