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Defence plans to appeal conviction of 28s gang boss

George 'Geweld' Thomas and 16 others were found guilty on crimes ranging from murder to racketeering.

FILE: Geweld and 17 others appeared at the Western Cape High Court facing 166 charges including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder. Picture: Thomas Holders/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Defence attorney in the trial of 28s gang boss George 'Geweld' Thomas said they plan to appeal his conviction on 53 charges, including seven murders.

Thomas and 16 others were found guilty on crimes ranging from murder to racketeering, some dating back as far as 2006.

The court heard on Thursday that Thomas, a high ranking member of the 28s gang, orchestrated several crimes in a bid to rule the streets of Bishop Lavis from behind bars.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the case Thomas and his co-accused has been the Western Cape's most complex gang trial.

The men were tried under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The NPA said the successful conviction is a turning point in the fight against gangsterism in Cape Town.

But defence advocate Janos Mihalik said they will make every attempt to reverse the judgment.

Thomas's defence had tried to use his incarceration since 2008 as an alibi, but Judge Chantel Fortuin rejected the claim that he could not have ordered murders from his jail cell because evidence showed he had made 33,000 cellphone calls from behind bars.