CT nightclub extortion racket: Defence questions timing of arrests

Controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, Jacques Cronje, Colin Booysen and two others were arrested in December on charges of intimidation and extortion.

Nafiz Modack in court on 17 January 2018. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The cross-examination of a policeman who has been investigating five suspected underworld figures accused of running a protection racket in Cape Town is expected to conclude on Friday.

Colonel Charl Kinnear has been questioned by defence lawyers over the past few weeks in the Cape Town magistrate's court.

Controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, Jacques Cronje, Colin Booysen and two others were arrested in December on charges of intimidation and extortion.

They allegedly forced Cape Town nightclubs and restaurants into security agreements, taking over from another group that was running security.

The defence has questioned the timing of the arrests of Modack, Booysen and three others.

Chad Levendal, who represents accused number four Jacques Cronje, believes that the timing of the arrests are peculiar as it occurred during the busy period for the nightclub scene.

Levendal says if there were any motives to have his client and his co-accused arrested during the festive season, it has to be acknowledged that it was for business.

But investigating officer Charl Kinnear refutes this and says the men were taken into custody at that time because the investigation into the extortion case was concluded.

Kinnear says that the State is opposing bail because the complainants fear for their lives and there's a possibility witnesses could be intimidated.