Wife of ‘gang boss’ turns to high court to appeal bail bid ruling

Alleged 28s boss Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson Picture: Brendan Magaar

Alleged 28s boss Ralph Stanfield and his wife Nicole Johnson Picture: Brendan Magaar

Published Apr 13, 2024


Cape Town - Alleged gang wife, Nicole Johnson, has made a renewed bid for freedom after lodging an appeal against the outcome of her bail applications at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

Despite two failed attempts at freedom, the wife of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield, will head to the Western Cape High Court next week as she appeals the outcomes claiming magistrate Atta Theart erred in her judgments.

The notorious duo were arrested alongside Johannes “Bal” Abrahams, Denver Booysen and Jose Brandt last year on various charges linked to a manhunt and attempted murder of a former employee.

During the explosive bail hearings late last year, the State revealed the former employee of Ralph had allegedly stolen over R1 million from the couple.

The former employee, who is now a State witness, had not arrived at work on November 24, 2022, following a tip-off that Ralph was planning to “kill him”.

The witness then hid his girlfriend’s BMW in a complex in Milnerton and went into hiding.

According to the State’s case, Ralph and Nicole embarked on a “witch-hunt” and even threatened the father of the witness, “klapped” an unsuspecting neighbour and took the car without the vehicle owner’s permission.

Johnson was denied bail alongside her husband last year after the magistrate found that they had failed to prove exceptional circumstances for their release.

Johnson subsequently brought another application based on new facts but was plunged into more legal woes as the State unveiled evidence of her apparent fraudulent activities.

During the bail hearing, the State played an audio recording made by the tracking company. State prosecutor, advocate Nathan Adriaanse, said they had obtained Johnson’s cellphone records.

These proved she had placed the call and fraudulently claimed to be the owner of the vehicle to obtain the location of the car.

But in her defence, he stated that the owner was with her and knew she was calling the tracking company. She also listed her daughter’s medical condition and the failing state of her businesses following her incarceration but her second application was also denied.

In her most recent application, Johnson’s legal team claims the magistrate failed to take into account that Johnson was never accused of a violent crime.

The team stressed that while out on bail on a separate matter, Johnson travelled abroad and returned for her appearances.

“The magistrate erred in mentioning – but not having sufficient regard to the fact – that the appellant had previously been released on bail and subsequent thereto on warning and had always appeared in court when required to do so.

“In having inadequate regard to the fact that the appellant is not a flight risk, as is borne out by the prosecutor not having disputed that they have, as well as their familial, financial and emotional ties to the jurisdiction of this honourable court,’’ the application reads.

The appeal will be heard on April 25.