Gangsters rub shoulders with judges at #PeteMihalik funeral
Cape Town - Gangsters, lawyers and judges filled St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral for the funeral of advocate Pete Mihalik.
Mihalik, 50, was buried on Saturday after being shot dead nearly two weeks ago.
Private bodyguards were scattered in and around the church, with a police presence too.
Mourners included former clients, alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, who was a pallbearer, and murder accused Colin Booysen, who is the brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome “Donkie” Booysen. Underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack made a brief appearance and Judge Siraj Desai was also in attendance.
While taking his children to school, Mihalik was shot dead in his car outside Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school in Green Point.
His son Daniel, 8, was also injured while his daughter Cassidy, 17, was uninjured.
His wife Karin, who suffered from depression, hanged herself in 2015 at the age of 48.
Mihalik was dating Tasmin Tobitt, who used to be married to former Springbok rugby player Percy Montgomery.
His father, former advocate Janos Mihalik, was in attendance.
Cassidy said she struggled to find the words to describe “such an extraordinary man”.
“My dad was the type of person you did not forget. If you wanted something he’d do anything and everything to achieve it. He built his kingdom from the ground up.”
She said despite her father’s “arrogant and selfish facade”, he was one of the “most generous people”.
“On many occasions, he would give up his Saturday afternoons to take Daniel and me from place to place.
“He never traded his authenticity for the approval of others. He would admit his flaws and worked hard every single day to improve himself.”
Her brother Daniel was not at the funeral and is still recovering from his wound.
Ross McKernan delivered a moving eulogy on behalf of Mihalik’s close friend, Jock Walters, detailing his life in law and his upbringing.
“Pete was a survivor. At the age of 12, he and his brother took a train to Bloemfontein, where they attended boarding school. The kids teased Pete because of his surname and it was there that Pete had to learn to stand up for himself.”
“Even as a child, Pete gave good advice. He once told a classmate not to grow a wishbone where a backbone should be. As a young child, Pete aspired to study law. He worked hard and achieved good results,” said McKernan.
He added that Mihalik took pride in his work and would “fight for the underdog”.
On Thursday, three men appeared in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder.
The third suspect, Vuyile Maliti, joined Sizwe Sinzokohle Biyela and Nkosinathi Khumalo after handing himself over to police on Wednesday.
In addition to the charge of murder, the men have been charged with attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.
The case was postponed until Thursday.
The Cape Bar announced a memorial service would be held for Mihalik at the Centre for the Book tomorrow at 4.15pm.