SMS to Krejcir associate: You’re next
Jerome Safi says he received a message saying, “You are next”, just a day after Sam Issa’s murder.
JOHANNESBURG - One of Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir's associates received a death threat saying he'd be next.
The cellphone message apparently came just one day after another Krejcir associate, Lebanese national Sam Issa, was gunned down in Bedfordview on Saturday.
Police described the incident as a hit.
Jerome Safi on Sunday received a text message saying, "You are next".
The message came from an unknown number.
Safi is known to be close to Krejcir and is regularly seen with him in Bedfordview.
He's opened a case with police.
Safi was present in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Soweto on Tuesday where three men faced charges in connection with the murder of German supercar specialist Uwe Gemballa.
He is a state witness in that case.
Safi apparently promised Gemballa funding as an intermediary in a potential business deal with Krejcir, but the Czech has denied this.
Gemballa was kidnapped and killed shortly after arriving in Johannesburg five years ago.
It was alleged he was in the country to meet with Krejcir.
ISSA HIT MYSTERY
Police are investigating the possibility that rogue cops could have been behind Saturday's hit on Issa.
More than 30 shots were fired at his vehicle while at a traffic light.
Eyewitnesses say the hitman who opened fire on Issa was in a white Ford Ranger with blue lights.
Several investigators close to the case say the hit pointed to rogue cops as potential suspects, but police have not officially confirmed this.
Issa, also known as 'Cripple Sam' or 'Black Sam', is the eighth person to be killed in an underworld hit over the past three years.
Krejcir has denied ever being close to Issa or having any links to the killing.
According to reports, Issa was seen at Krejcir's shop on Bradford Road on Friday.
It's alleged Issa was travelling to the neighbouring Mercure Hotel when he was gunned down.
At the same time, investigator Paul O'Sullivan says Issa and Krejcir have been seen together on a regular basis over the past two years.
He also accused Krejcir of being involved with dodgy police.
"Not good cops - bad cops. Problem is, Krejcir has a number of cops on his payroll."
O'Sullivan also suggested some officers knew about Issa's activities but did nothing about it.
Krejcir has been named a suspect in five high-profile murders but has never been charged.
He is also fighting to avoid extradition to his home country where he has been charged in absentia on a number of charges.