News in and around South Africa.
- Editor’s note: This live event will be broadcast live on eNCA.com and is expected to start at 11am.
CAPE TOWN – The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is set to be officially opened on Friday.
It’s being viewed as what the Tate modern is to London, and what the Museum of Modern Art is to New York. The museum is the first major museum of contemporary art in Africa.
World renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick transformed Cape Town’s old grain silo into the Zeitz Mocaa, a nine-storey building that’s a work of art in itself.
The original silo cylinders have been cut into massive tubular shapes, which stand at the centre of the BMW Atrium, the museum’s main atrium. 3 Local architect firms were also involved in the project.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be blessing proceedings at the opening.
Cape Town – Controversial businessman Nafiz Modack says the private security industry in SA has become so cut-throat and murky that making deep inroads into it has resulted in him receiving about 50 threats just this year.
And while he has vehemently denied he is an intelligence operative, as several highly placed sources insist he is, he has confirmed that he was the intended target of a shooting that happened inside Camps Bay establishment Café Caprice on April 17.
Two patrons were wounded in that incident.
“That particular day, we were supposed to have a meeting there. At the last minute, I cancelled,” Modack said.
He spoke to News24 in an exclusive interview on Thursday, in which he made startling claims about the country’s private security industry, at an establishment just outside the city centre.
At least three armed bodyguards, including bouncer Jacques Cronje, who faces cocaine possession charges in Cape Town, sat near Modack during the interview.
Several more were stationed outside and around the venue. Apparently, there were a total of 20 armed men.
Modack said that, for roughly two years, he had always travelled with about 20 bodyguards.
About two years ago, he said there was an apparent attempted hit on him, where a vehicle he was meant to be in was shot at in Johannesburg.
‘My life is in danger’
He said he was also working with about 30 private investigators to, among other things, to ensure his safety.
“We’re in the security business. Obviously, my life is in danger, because other people want to be doing what we’re doing, taking the clubs…
“I’ve had over 50 threats [this year]. I delete it sometimes,” he said, pointing to three cellphones.
The 37-year-old Modack has been taking over nightclub security from a more established grouping.
For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld, see News24’s showcase Underworld Unmasked here.
This has resulted in violence around Cape Town, from March this year in particular, and more recently in Johannesburg, where on Wednesday night a bouncer boss was wounded in a shooting in Springs.
Club security is said to equal power and muscle in the underworld and is also said to be linked to the drug trade, in that some venues are viewed as crucial turf from which to peddle drugs.
Modack has insisted his grouping is against crime and drugs, but so have members of the more established grouping.
He denied any involvement in gangsterism and underworld shootings.
Violence relating to the clubs takeover has unfolded in Cape Town and Johannesburg, either when, or just after, he has been in these areas.
Modack put this down to “coincidence”.
In 2012, Specialised Protection Services, a bouncer company run by, among others, controversial businessmen Andre Naude and Mark Lifman, as well as alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen, provided security to several nightclubs in Cape Town.
However, it was shut down as it was not registered with the necessary private security regulator, as required by law.
On Thursday, Modack said that – together with a businessman originally from Pakistan and Colin Booysen, the brother of Jerome Booysen – he now provided security to more than 95% of nightclubs around Cape Town.
Ironically, the interview with Modack on Thursday was conducted at the very venue, and very same table, at which this journalist interviewed Naude in January 2012.
That interview nearly mirrored Modack’s in that Naude had said that together with Lifman and Jerome Booysen – they had taken over the majority of security at nightclubs in Cape Town.
On Thursday, Modack pointed out that the interview was taking place at the same spot where underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka – who was murdered on March 21, 2011, just outside Belhar, and who he had been close to – had used to sit.
Beeka, who for years ran a dominant bouncer racket in Cape Town, had been a rumoured to work for state intelligence.
Asked if the latest club security takeover had been orchestrated by intelligence operatives, or if he was working for the state, Modack insisted this was not the case.
He denied buying information from crime intelligence officers, or selling information, which News24 established may be the case.
However, Modack would not comment on how he had got hold of “classified documents” about police generals, which he said police had illegally removed from his Plattekloof home in July.
He said he and his business associates were “helping” police to keep clubs crime and drug-free.
“Basically we’re helping the government do their work.”
Debt collection, politicians and guarding cash
Modack explained that, aside from nightclub security, he was involved in a private security company in Cape Town, three in Gauteng, as well as in debt collection for “reputable companies”, armed response, cash-in-transit security, and asset management.
He said he worked with several wealthy international clients, “foreigners and big investors”, and provided security to “people right from the top, down”.
Modack did not rule out working for politicians.
“You get a lot of government officials in business,” was all he was prepared to say about this.
However, Modack later repeatedly named a top politician’s son as someone he had “looked after” when this man had been in Cape Town.
He claimed that some rival underworld figures were in cahoots with the police and other private security providers, and were monitoring his movements.
Modack backed this up by showing News24 apparent evidence of how his movements were being tracked.
He said private security was poorly regulated and had a poor framework.
“We are straight business people. Our lives are at risk because we took security.”
Asked if he was under investigation for any crimes, Modack replied: “Maybe, maybe not.”
He said he was anti-drugs and involved in the security business simply to “clean up” clubs around SA.
The club security takeover is said to be linked to the illicit tobacco and perlemoen trade.
Modack said he was in no way involved in either. Referring to the tobacco trade, he added: “I buy my cigarettes at a shop. R55 a pack.”
Security ties and police links
Modack confirmed that:
• He was involved in the Cape Town security company The Security Group (TSG) and that, when firearms from the company were first seized by police outside a city centre strip club in April, these had been taken from men who were “protecting” him.
Modack said he had been at the strip club to take over their security, but not in a violent manner. In July, firearms from TSG were again confiscated by the Hawks. Modack said TSG, which outsourced some work, was providing security to clubs.
Modack was hesitant to speak about:
- His meeting with Northern Cape police commissioner Risimati Shivuri in an upmarket hotel near the V&A Waterfront on May 4, which News24 had witnessed. Asked about this, he replied: “No comment.” Then, asked if they had met only once, as News24 had evidence to suggest they had met more than once, he said: “I can’t remember.”
- A meeting he had with the Western Cape head of detectives Patrick Mbotho, which Mbotho previously said was about a complaint Modack had about the police. On Thursday Modack said: “No comment.”
- His closeness to Czech convict Radovan Krejcir. “I met him many times through Cyril [Beeka],” Modack said, without going into more detail.
Build up to threats
Modack, who grew up in Cape Town gang hot spot Bonteheuwel, and dreamed of becoming a doctor “so injured people can be repaired”, told News24 that, before Beeka was assassinated in 2011, he (Modack) had been involved in the supermarket business.
His family was among the first Indian and coloured ones to have supermarkets in areas, including Hanover Park and Athlone.
They also ran petrol stations, car showrooms and dealt in properties.
But on the day that Beeka was murdered, everything changed for Modack, then 30 years old.
That day, he said, he started receiving death threats via SMS and telephone calls.
“When Cyril was assassinated, I got a message, saying: ‘You next’.”
Modack said he then started working in the security environment, much like Beeka had.
“He was a man running town alone,” he said, describing Beeka and the bouncer operation he had run in Cape Town.
Modack claimed he started taking over nightclub security in Cape Town and Johannesburg recently in order to snuff out the drug trade in venues.
Asked how he described himself, Modack first dryly joked: “If I tell you, you’re going to run out the door.”
He then referred to himself as a “security advisor”.
“I’m a normal ordinary law abiding citizen,” Modack insisted.
During the roughly two hour interview, a seemingly calm Modack drank a cup of coffee, with five sachets of sugar, as well as two energy drinks, and smoked five cigarettes.
When he left the venue on Thursday afternoon, he was escorted to a bullet-proof vehicle by three armed men.
By the time he arrived at the vehicle’s front passenger door, eight burly men milled around him, while more stood along the street.
After the vehicle drove away, some of the men stood watch, before following.
Port Elizabeth – The 29-year-old make-up artist who was beaten to death in Port Elizabeth on Sunday was a “bubbly person”, her childhood friend said on Thursday.
“Ntomboxolo Peter was a sweet God-fearing person. She really had a beautiful soul and went out of her way for others,” Nontandathu Pangwa told News24.
“I’m still in shock about what happened – she did not deserve to die like that.”
Peter was declared brain dead shortly after she was taken to hospital by her boyfriend and family friends on Sunday afternoon, Port Elizabeth police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said.
She was “heavily bruised” when she arrived at the Livingstone Hospital.
“She appears to have been repeatedly beaten with a sharp object and was bleeding heavily.”
Beetge said while the boyfriend is a suspect in the murder case, no arrests have been made.
“Investigations are at a sensitive stage,” he said.
Peter’s funeral is set to take place on Monday, September 25.
Pangwa said she will always remember Peter braiding her hair while they were growing up in rural Kwamagxaki outside Port Elizabeth.
She said they used to practice make-up techniques on each other.
“I think that’s when she decided to take up the beauty course.
“Well one thing about her, she was a very very stylish person who used to style everyone who wanted to look good,” Pangwa said.
“She was known for her many talents… she was an awesome and amazing woman and indeed had a bright future ahead of her.”
JOHANNESBURG – The South African Democratic Union (Sadtu) has withdrawn its members from 30 schools in Eldorado Park.
The union is reportedly citing allegations of racism for its move.
It is believed the decision was sparked by the stand-off between coloured and black teachers at Klipspruit West Secondary School.
In July, parents at the school rejected the appointment of a black principal.
Sadtu is blaming the education department for failing to handle the situation.
Johannesburg – Lerato Sedi withdrew assault charges against her husband Shaka Sisulu, saying he had never intended to cause her physical harm.
In a statement released by family spokesperson Shenanda Janse van Rensburg, Sedi said she had withdrawn the charge on Wednesday morning after “much reflection”.
“It was a misunderstanding and it is in the best interest of my marriage that we put this matter behind us,” Sedi is quoted as saying.
Sedi had accused Sisulu, the grandson of struggle stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisulu, of assaulting her after she visited his home in August.
Sedi and Sisulu separated in 2015.
She told City Press that Sisulu intentionally slammed a door into her arm and bruised it when she asked for money for their three-year-old son.
Sisulu denied the allegations.
In a statement to News24, Sisulu said he was “pleased by the outcome of this unfortunate matter”.
“My wife and I have come to the realisation that we have to work on our relationship, and that will be our immediate focus going forward,” he said.
The National Prosecuting Authority could not be reached for comment.
Johannesburg – A stolen Rolls Royce was found abandoned in Riverlea on Wednesday afternoon.
The car – worth R5m – was stolen from a workshop at The Glen, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday morning.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said in a statement that the car was immediately reported stolen to police.
Mamonyane said the workshop’s owner later spotted the luxury car while driving on the N12, and followed it off the N1 South at Golden Highway, where he also alerted two JMPD officers on patrol.
The officer pursued the vehicle at high speed to Riverlea, where the vehicle was found abandoned.
Police spokesperson Constable Thumi Kraai said no arrests had been made after the vehicle was found.
She said the suspect fled on foot and disappeared between the houses.
Meanwhile, as news spread on social media of the abandoned Rolls, people on Twitter were quick give their views on the matter.
Muzi Ngxongo quipped that his “homeboys” should’ve known to “steal a Polo, not a Rolls Royce to avoid [the] cops”.
Wesley Green (@WezGreenCT) tweeted: “Matric Ball season has begun. Somebody trying to impress bae.”
“It wasn’t stolen…it’s Mugabe’s son visiting the area…,” @simmakh said in reference to Grace Mugabe’s son who recently acquired a $70m Rolls Royce.
@Xhosa_x_Herero tweeted:”Who has the balls to steal a freaking Rolls Royce, a Royce fam.”
JOHANNESBURG – A man is on the run after trying to get away with a stolen Rolls Royce valued at R5 million, in the South of Johannesburg, metro police said on Wednesday.
Johannesburg Metro Police (JMPD) spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the vehicle was taken from a work shop at The Glen at around 1.20pm on Wednesday afternoon.
“The owner of the workshop was in a meeting at the time and was informed by workers, he then went to report the theft to Mondeor Police Station and was on his way to also report it to Eldoradopark Park Police when he spotted the car on the N12.”
Minnaar said the owner of the workshop followed the Rolls Royce off the N1 south at the Golden Highway and back onto the N1 north, when he alerted two JMPD officers on patrol.
— eNCA (@eNCA) July 24, 2017
“The officers then chased the Rolls Royce at a high speed to Maraisburg off ramp and back onto the N1 south going through red lights and driving in the yellow lane as the suspect tried to get away from the officers,” he said.
“The suspect drove the Rolls Royce off at N17 off ramp and towards Riverlea with the JMPD patrol chasing behind, when he reached Couga Street and Indwe Street he abandoned the car and disappeared on foot amongst the houses.”
— eNCA (@eNCA) May 22, 2017
Minnaar said no arrests had been made thus far, and the vehicle has been taken to the Aeroton Police Pound for verification.
African News Agency
DURBAN – Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, on Wednesday, dismissed claims made by former premier and KZN ANC leader Senzo Mchunu that he had contributed to violence in the province, calling the former premier “ignorant”.
Replying to a media query after Mchunu gave testimony on Wednesday before the Moerane Commission probing political killings in the province, Buthelezi said the violence was driven by the African National Congress (ANC).
Mchunu told Commissioners that had Buthelezi admitted that by leaving the ANC Youth League he had “abandoned” the “liberation movement”, some of the violence in the strife torn province during the 80s and 90s could have been avoided and Buthelezi could have played a unifying role.
“The violence birthed by the ANC’s people war could certainly have been avoided. It should have been avoided because our liberation struggle was founded on the principle of non-violence,” Buthelezi said.
“I founded the IFP on the same principles. Inkatha was intended to reignite political mobilisation in our country following the banning of the ANC. But when the ANC chose to abandon the founding principles of non-violence and to engage in an armed struggle, Inkatha could not agree.”
He said several unsuccessful attempts were made by the ANC to get the IFP to abandon its non-violence stance, with a key meeting taking place in London in 1979. He said thereafter the ANC “unleashed a campaign of vilification against me and Inkatha that would last several decades”.
“If I couldn’t be persuaded to abandon the high moral ground, they were determined to destroy my reputation,” he said.
“The violence didn’t start because I left the ANC Youth League as Mr Mchunu so ignorantly claims. It was a deliberate campaign to secure political hegemony for the ANC after liberation.”
Buthelezi said he and late former president Nelson Mandela signed an accord on 29 January, 1991 to end political violence in the province that would have included sharing the stage at joint rallies denouncing violence.
“But Mandela was barred from fulfilling that commitment by ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal. They refused to allow it and the violence continued. Mr Mchnu knows this history. His allegations before the commission are nothing short of politicking,” said Buthelezi.
— Dasen Thathiah (@DasenThathiah) September 20, 2017
African News Agency