Modack case: ‘Gang boss ordered hit on lawyer’ in alleged revenge attacks

Top criminal lawyer William Booth. File Picture: Cindy Waxa

Top criminal lawyer William Booth. File Picture: Cindy Waxa

Published Mar 30, 2024


Cape Town - Top criminal lawyer, William Booth, denied ever representing alleged Sexy Boys gang boss, Jerome “Donkie” Booysen amid shocking claims at the Western Cape High Court regarding the assassination of advocate Pete Mihalik.

This comes amid the ongoing mammoth underworld trial into alleged underworld kingpin, Nafiz Modack and 14 others.

The group face more than 100 charges relating to the murder of AntiGang Unit detective, Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear, the attempted assassination of Booth and other incidents.

In the stand over the last two weeks, the self-confessed hitman known as “Mr A’’ turned on his former gang friends and claimed after killing the father of a Hawks detective he was personally congratulated by Modack and promised a car and guns.

The 38-year-old witness, who can only be named as “Mr A” told Judge Robert Henney that he was recruited by four of Modack’s co accused, Moegamat Toufeek Brown, Riyaat Gesant, Faghmeed Kelly and Mario Pietersen to carry out the hit on the Hawks detective.

He outed the men as members of the Terrible West Siders gang which he claimed was headed by Brown and says the gang got instructions from Ziyaad Poole who operated as the middleman for Modack.

On the day of the shooting in Melkbosstrand the hitman said he was upset after realising he had killed the father of the detective, Nicolaas Heerschap, 74, as he drove his son’s car.

He said after Melkbosstrand shooting he was contracted to kill Booth and told the bounty was R3 million.

The hitman says he was sent to a hotel in Newlands where Booth’s Mercedes-Benz had been spotted to kill him but the hit failed when he fell asleep on the job. He waited until 1am and fell asleep in his car and then realised Booth had left.

He was later given an address in Bishops Court and despite staking the property out he failed to get hold of Booth. The hitman says he even went to Worcester to shoot Booth as he attended a trial but a large police presence scared him off.

Asked if he was told what the motivation for the hit was, he claimed that Poole revealed that Modack wanted revenge for Mihalik’s death.

“Modack believes Donkie killed Mihalik and because Booth was his (Donkie’s) lawyer, hy moet gly (he must die). It was an eye for an eye.”

Mihalik, 50, was killed on October 30, 2018, while dropping off his two children at school in Green Point.

Booth, who is a state witness in the Modack trial, has denied representing Booysen. “The claims that I was Booysen’s lawyer is untrue. I was never ever his legal rep.’’

Booysen said the claims by the hitman were “a lot of nonsense” but could not be contacted for further comment.

In April 2020 two gunman opened fire on Booth’s Higgovale home but missed. Gesant and Deare were later arrested for the botched hit.

Deare pleaded guilty was sentenced to five years imprisonment for wilfully aiding and abetting the activities of a criminal gang and five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder.

He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder, with five years suspended for five years on condition he is not convicted for attempted murder committed during the period of suspension.

Deare was further sentenced to six years for illegal possession of a firearm and three years’ imprisonment for illegal possession of ammunition. He will serve an effective 10 years in prison.

The trial will resume on 16 April.

Weekend Argus