[imagesource: Esa Alexander]
In April of last year, criminal lawyer William Booth survived an attempted hit at his Higgovale home.
Shortly after 7AM, two men wearing masks approached his home, with one opening fire whilst Booth was in his garage. The shots missed their target, and Booth was unharmed.
The following month, CCTV footage of the men suspected of carrying out the attempted hit was shared, and arrests were made shortly thereafter.
Before we get into what has come out in court this week, we need to revisit the ineptitude of that hit.
TimesLIVE reporting below:
On April 6 last year, while SA was still under a Covid-19 hard lockdown and with police and army roadblocks stationed at all the main roadways into Cape Town, the group went ahead with their plan.
…[Ebrahim] Deare and [Riyaad] Gesant were dropped off close to Booth’s house, where they inspected the location to obtain more information about how to execute the hit — but they went to the wrong address and the mission was aborted.
“They went back to the vicinity of the house again on April 7. On the day, Deare smoked Mandrax, got high and he fell into a hole, injuring his leg,” said Ntabazalila. “The hitman had to be taken to Groote Schuur Hospital for treatment and this thwarted their plans.”
The duo went back the next day, April 8, but nothing happened.
Finally, on April 9, they pulled the trigger and five rounds were fired at Booth, all of which missed.
Not exactly a slick operation.
Fast forward to this week and legal proceedings at Blue Downs Regional Court, where it emerged that the failed hit was allegedly carried out because Booth represented an individual being extorted by alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack.
Modack and co-accused Jacques Cronje are being prosecuted on charges of intimidation, kidnapping, extortion, and money laundering, among others.
More from The Daily Maverick:
The indictment states that Modack and Cronje unlawfully induced, threatened, subjected to pressure or inspired fear in the mind of Sameer Valie by kidnapping, threatening him and “by means of the said threat thereby obtained an advantage not due to them”…
On 12 March 2020 Valie was at his Claremont, Cape Town, home when two men were filmed by his security cameras. The one, Clark said, was identified as Cronje. Later a brick was flung through the front window of Valie’s house. Valie then approached Booth for legal assistance to obtain an interdict against Cronje.
Following Booth’s involvement, Cronje was arrested in early April, but released four days later.
Booth’s “meddling” in Modack’s matters led to the shaping of the conspiracy, the court heard.
“I’m of the opinion that the arrest of Cronje and the money they lost due to Booth’s intervention raised a motive for the attack on Mr Booth in April 2020,” said [investigating officer Colonel Eddie] Clark.
In April of this year, Kauthar Brown, Ebrahim Deare and Riyaad Gasant, all members of the Terrible West Siders gang, were convicted of carrying out the hit.
Modack is also being charged with conspiring to murder Anti Gang Unit detective Charl Kinnear, with the State arguing yesterday that he should be denied bail.
The bail hearing continues today.
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