News / 12 September 2015, 10:38am / Fatima Schroeder
Cape Town - The son of Hard Livings gang kingpin Rashid Staggie has two reasons to celebrate this weekend – being acquitted of charges in the Priority Crimes Court in Khayelitsha on Monday, and being released on bail in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Abdul Boonzaaier, 27, alleged to be a high-ranking member of the Hard Livings, was free to return to his home in Wright Street, Woodstock, on Friday, after magistrate Jackie Muller released him on R3 000 bail.
He has been in custody since August 20, when police arrested him and co-accused Dale America for possession of small quantities of tik (methamphetamine) and cocaine.
Investigating officer Umir Salie on Friday told the court that Boonzaaier was a known member of the Hard Livings gang who had four red stars tattooed on each of his shoulders and the letters H and L on his wrists.
The stars indicated that he held the rank of captain within the gang and had the power to give orders to lower-ranking members.
Salie said Boonzaaier should not be released because of his alleged propensity to commit crime, Salie’s belief that the State had a strong case against him, and Boonzaaier’s alleged failure to adhere to bail conditions in a past case by not regularly signing the bail register at the police station.
In addition, he said there were threats to Boonzaaier’s safety, which meant that it was better for him not to be released.
At the start of the proceedings on Friday witnesses reported to police that a young man had threatened to kill Boonzaaier.
However, defence attorney Bruce Hendricks dealt Salie a blow when he told the court that the man was one of Boonzaaier’s relatives and he was mentally unstable.
Hendricks also said that a magistrate pointed out, during previous court proceedings involving Boonzaaier, that police did not do their jobs properly when accused had to sign bail registers.
It also emerged, during Hendricks’s cross-examination of Salie, that the advocate who was supposed to represent the State in the bail application, had given an instruction that bail should be set at R10 000.
However, this did not happen and the application ended up being opposed instead.
Magistrate Muller granted the application, saying that it would not be in the interests of justice to refuse it.
America was granted R1 000 bail after the State did not oppose his release.
On Monday Boonzaaier was acquitted of charges of possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice in Khayelitsha.
His co-accused in that case, Zaine van Wyk, entered into a plea agreement with the State in which he admitted he panicked when he saw police on December 24, 2014, and ran into Boonzaaier’s house where he dropped tik and a pipe on the bed next to Boonzaaier.