Two of the four people on trial in the Cape Town Regional Court for allegedly extorting a Cape Town restaurant for R90,000, among other charges, in a protection racket claim they are victims of the “Cape Capture” of certain police officers by a rival businessman.
Bruce Hendricks, the lawyer for Colin Booysen and Ashley Fields, said anti-gang unit member Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear’s findings, which were uncovered during his investigation into the alleged extortion, were bizarre.
He added Booysen believed there was a cabal of policemen out to get him, and had even come up with a name for it – “Cape Capture”.
“Mr Booysen describes ‘Cape Capture’ as certain police individuals who are specifically targeting him,” said Hendricks.
“I don’t know anything about that, your worship,” said Kinnear.
Hendricks paused after stifled chuckles emanated from the public gallery over the reference to the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
He said Booysen and Fields had laid charges against Major General Jeremy Vearey and Captain Sharon Japhta at Cape Town Central police station emanating from the accused’s bail applications.
Vearey, Japhta and Kinnear are among those whom Booysen claims are behind the “Cape Capture”.
The charges they laid were due to allegedly being forced to strip down to their underwear in front of other officers and prisoners.
Hendricks said Kinnear had only started his investigation into alleged rivalry between companies providing security at Cape Town clubs and restaurants in 2017, way after someone had been murdered at a club in Long Street in 2015.
Booysen, Fields, Nafiz Modack and Jacques Cronje are facing charges that range from extortion, money laundering and using a recording device without authorisation to rendering a security service while not registered as a service provider with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.
The court heard the complainant in the case was Stewart Bailey who SowetanLive reported was a former manager at the Harbour House group which owns the trendy Grand Café Africa in Granger Bay.
The case is centred around a claim that in November 2017, Radley Dijkers, the brand manager, was allegedly pressured into making a payment to make sure there would be no disruptions at an upcoming event.
The money was allegedly paid to a former co-accused in the case, Carl Lakay, the court heard. Lakay was killed in August 2018.
The late advocate Pete Mihalik also got a mention during the trial when it emerged he was going to be instructed by Hendricks to represent Booysen. Mihalik could not go ahead because of an alleged “averment” Kinnear had made against him, which might have caused a conflict of interest.
Mihalik was killed during a school run in late 2018.
The court also heard security providers were usually paid in advance but in the case of the event in November 2017, invoicing was only done in December after Kinnear eventually opened a docket.
Hendricks listed the names of police officers who Booysen alleged are part of the “Cape Capture” of the police by businessmen, including his apparent rival, Mark Lifman.
Kinnear said he did not know anything about that, adding when he visited Lifman’s house it was for police matters.
He spent the day being repeatedly questioned over why he had not immediately opened a case docket when the extortion allegations were brought to his attention by Japhta, why he battled to get witnesses, and why he had not subpoenaed witnesses who refused to speak to him.
Kinnear said he started with an inquiry on purpose, because if he had opened a case docket at that stage he would have had to scan any early affidavits he received into the police’s computerised case docket system.
This would have made it vulnerable to prying eyes who could pass the information on to the wrong people, he added.
“If you open a case, it becomes visible to everybody,” explained Kinnear, to the apparent surprise of the lawyers present.
He said Bailey had said, in the copy of his affidavit, that Dijkers told him he was warned that if they did not pay up, people would arrive at the event and disrupt it.
Kinnear added he also wanted to find out whether Bailey and Dijkers would corroborate each other before he opened a docket, and discussed it with the National Prosecuting Authority.
He eventually opened a docket but could not get people to speak to him about these claims.
He said although he did not invite Dijkers to speak to him, he was later informed by Japtha that he was waiting for him in a boardroom at work.
However, Dijkers did not say anything about being threatened.
Kinnear said as for the other witnesses he wanted to interview, they either told him via WhatsApp that they would not be available, or if somebody heard it was him on the phone, they did not want to speak to him.
Outside court, a large group of men dressed in black arranged themselves around the accused during breaks, swapping formation and filming passersby, while Modack got some fresh air – a bullet proof vest clearly visible under his suit jacket.
Asked what had happened to the R90,000 that the restaurant allegedly handed over, he said nobody knew because Lakay, who had supposedly fetched the money, was killed.
Kinnear had trouble getting the original of the Bailey affidavit, even calling Japhta this week to ask about it again but she was apparently off work and could not help him.
During the trial, armed police officers sat near the doors, and anybody entering the court was searched twice.
Purses and cigarette boxes were opened, ankles were patted, and even those who brought food or fruit along were told to go outside and get rid of it.
The State rested its case on Thursday and straight afterwards, Modack’s lawyer, Dirk Uys, indicated he intended bringing an application to have the case dismissed.