Saturday, April 7, 2012

Four die in law firm shoot-out


Mar 29 2012 6:42AM

Four die in law firm shoot-out

Zodidi Mhlana, De Wet Potgieter and Michael Appel

A dispute between six people during a meeting at a Pretoria law firm yesterday led to the shooting and killing of four people, police said.

The meeting, which took place at the offices of Hepple Attorneys in Zwartkops in Centurion, included two attorneys and clients.

It is believed that the dispute was over money. All four of the deceased were clients of the law firm. The two survivors are attorneys. The law firm is one of only two law firms located in the residential area of Zwartkops.

Police spokesperson WO Annabella Middleton confirmed the meeting between lawyers and clients at the company’s offices yesterday morning.

“The reason leading to the dispute is still being investigated by the police. The shooter killed three people and then turned the gun on himself.”

Middleton said when paramedics arrived at the scene three men were already dead and a fourth person was in a critical condition.

“Three people died on the scene and another victim died on the way to hospital,” Middleton said.

Police are investigating a culpable homicide and murder case. The family members of the victims have been notified about the tragedy.

The police have identified the deceased as Pieter Erasmus, 43, Johan Griesel, 50, Wimpy van Heerden and the 64-year-old gunman, Martin van Deventer. After the incident yesterday, Hepple Attorneys closed their offices for the day.

A source at the scene that preferred to remain anonymous told The New Age that the shooting took place round about 10.30am yesterday morning. “The shooting was related to an amount of R20m.

“The gunman was owed the money by the other three clients. After shooting the three men, he apparently told the two attorneys to ‘go stand by the door’.

“He then pumped another three rounds into the victims before shooting himself in the head,” said the source.

The coroner from the private forensic crime-scene cleaning company, which was used to clear the area, confirmed that “the owners of the building had been looking to sell the place for some time”.

“We are just fixing it up and cleaning up the mess. The building will be ready for resale within a couple of days,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.

Mar 30 2012 8:41AM

Celebrity lawyer’s ‘hit’ plan

Czech billionaire, Radovan Krejcir. Gallo images

De Wet Potgieter

Pretoria’s controversial celebrity lawyer, Peet Viljoen, due for trial next week in the R100m land scam involving prime property owned by the city of Johannesburg, allegedly approached a former associate of the fugitive Czech billionaire, Radovan Krejcir, for assistance in finding somebody to kill two prominent businessmen on his behalf.

“Peet asked me who could ‘take care’ of Zunaid Moti and Willie Botha,” Jerome Safi told The New Age this week. Soon after the meeting with Viljoen that took place in Bedfordview a month ago, Safi made a statement containing these allegations to the investigating officer, Capt Jan Judeel.

This was confirmed by police spokesperson Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini, who said the statement had been handed to the prosecutor in the case for a decision.

Safi, a former confidante of Krejcir, was taken in for questioning by the police soon after the German supercar mogul Uwe Gemballa was abducted from OR Tambo airport in January 2010 on arrival.

The two men Viljoen allegedly wanted to be “taken care of”, according to Safi, are Willie Botha, former MD of Sharemax, and 37-year-old car-loving businessman Zunaid Moti, who was implicated in the alleged fraudulent land deal that he (Viljoen) is due to face in court with several other accused.

Details of the alleged assassination plots surfaced on Wednesday when word got around in the Gauteng underworld that Viljoen was allegedly spreading rumours in an effort to create tension between Krejcir and Safi.

“He (Viljoen) is jeopardising people’s lives,” Safi’s uncle, Dave Safi, told The New Age. Dave Safi said discussions between him and Krejcir defused the bad blood created by Viljoen’s rumour mongering in time and cleared the air.

Approached for comment, Krejcir confirmed that he had five meetings with Viljoen recently regarding business proposals. His last meeting with Viljoen was on Wednesday morning.

However, Krejcir says there is more to the story: “Peet told me earlier that Jerome said to him he has to kill me,” Krejcir said. Viljoen said when he asked Safi why he wanted Krejcir dead, he replied: “If I don’t kill Radovan, he will kill me.”

According to Jerome Safi, he met Viljoen some time ago when he was approached with possible business deals. “Peet brought me numerous illegal deals involving municipal properties,” says Krejcir.

It was during one of those meetings that Viljoen allegedly wanted to know from him how he could upset Krejcir enough to have Moti killed. “He was hoping that Moti’s death would mean his problems with his court case would go away.”

Krejcir confirmed that Viljoen approached him for the first time a month ago, with claims that Moti told him they were partners importing cars into the country and abusing his name to create business for him.

“He wanted to make me angry with Zunaid,” Krejcir said.

He then insisted Viljoen take a polygraph test to find out if he was lying. “I am waiting for the final results,” Krejcir said.

Wife ‘used as honeytrap for orgies’
February 14 2011 at 08:55am
By De Wet Potgieter

Jackie Haynes and Little Ralphie Viljoen.

It was sex and drugs and blackmail when gangster boss Ralph Haynes and his sexy blonde wife Jackie entertained top businessmen and celebrities at their Krugersdorp mansion.

The one-legged gang boss, who disappeared several weeks ago, would use Jackie as a honeytrap for the orgies which would then be taped.

There were 24 secret surveillance cameras connected to a battery of monitors concealed in a walk-in safe in the main bedroom in the R17 million house, according to an interview last week with Haynes’s former driver and trusted lieutenant Eugene Viljoen - known in the underworld as “Little Ralphie”.

Viljoen declined to name the participants in Haynes’s binges and orgies but, with his wife Alta, who also took part, backing up his claims, he described the modus operandi.

“He used Jackie as the bait, then he made home movies. Ralph has hidden all those compromising tapes in a safe place,” he said. “It was real sick sex games used by Ralph to have his way in doing business.”

Viljoen was a close associate of Haynes for more than three years, working as his driver and right-hand man.

About nine months ago, Viljoen said, Haynes approached him while they were socialising at the Haynes home, and asked him if it was all right with him if Alta joined Haynes and Jackie in a threesome.

Viljoen declined but one thing led to another, and they were all using cocaine. Then, by the Viljoens’ account, Jackie suggested they try some “acid”, and - though she says she declined - Alta found herself growing increasingly disoriented as time went on.

For his part Viljoen said: “I found it very strange that Ralph closed the chill room’s door.”

Haynes then reportedly told him not to worry because Alta “was in good hands”.

Finally, Viljoen found his wife stark naked in the main bedroom with Jackie dressed only in her open gown. “She was about to take my wife to bed,” he said.

“Ralph was like a father to me and I always wanted to be a prosperous gangster. He was my role model and it was very difficult for me to refuse my wife to him,” said Viljoen.

“But last year I decided to turn my back on that life and tell the police what I have done to people at his instructions.”

Viljoen was convinced that Haynes wanted to get him that night because he realised his luck started running out. “He was looking at a way to pin everything on me because I always had to set up the high-profile victims for him to knock them for money.”

Viljoen described how a well-known Randfontein businessman, who was taken by Haynes for several hundred thousands rands, faced bankruptcy.

The businessman’s wife phoned Viljoen for help and when he arrived at their house in Randfontein the man was sitting in his bedroom with his firearm ready to commit suicide. He did not kill himself, but lost everything he worked for, said Viljoen.

Viljoen was not prepared to reveal the names of well-known people connected to the gangster syndicate but did mention that Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr was a regular visitor at Haynes’s mansion in Krugersdorp.

He added that former Springbok rugby hero Joost van der Westhuizen became entangled in Haynes’s web of deceit.

A well-known Pretoria attorney confirmed last week that Van der Westhuizen had been introduced to property dealer Zunaid Moti by Haynes when the former rugby player had financial woes.

Moti bought his Keurbooms property in the Southern Cape for R1m. The Keurbooms property was later advertised for sale for R8.5m.

Jackie phoned Weekend Argus’s sister paper Saturday Star on Monday requesting a meeting to tell all. “I want to tell the world about all those influential people who did business with Ralph,” she said. “Since my husband disappeared they have all vanished into holes in the ground and now suffer from amnesia.”

Haynes’s older brother, Barney, told friends that the family is convinced that Haynes is dead. His brother’s birthday was on Tuesday last week. “Ralph always phoned us on his birthday, no matter what.” - Sunday Argus


Cops probe mansion robbery
August 16 2010 at 07:59am
By Candice Bailey

The were 10 of them. It was 4.30am on Friday. There were nine night shift guards on duty.

The gang of robbers started at the northern most end of the Moti mansion, scaling a wall of the massive property in Sandhurst, owned by property mogul Zunaid Moti.

First they attacked two guards based at a small guard house. Next they attacked four more guards patrolling at their different posts. Then they approached the main guard house at the property's entrance, where there were three guards on duty.

There they confiscated their cellphones and pistols and tied them together. And then, they waited. More than two hours later, nine day-shift guards came on duty.

As they filed onto the property around 6.30am, the robbers took them down. One by one, each was robbed of his cellphone and weapon and tied with his colleagues in the main guardhouse.

When the two shift supervisors came to inspect the property, they too were drawn in and tied up.

Only at 7.30am, when the 20 security guards lay tied up in the guard house, did the men access the Moti mansion, where the seven family members lay unaware of the drama taking place on their property.

Once the men had taken a "substantial amount" of money and jewellery, they locked the Moti family in a room and fled in a white Lexus 4x4 belonging to Zunaid Moti. Police refused to say who the family members were.

On their way out they took the CCTV camera footage that had captured everything, before disappearing into the peak-hour traffic at 8am.

A few hours later, police discovered the Lexus abandoned in the parking of the KFC branch in Bryanston. In it, there were three cellphones, three security lumber jackets, a knife and a radio control taken from the premises.

Police sources told The Star that jewellery, money and 14 firearms - all valued at R3-million - had been taken.

But police spokesman Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela would not confirm this, saying it was an "undisclosed amount of cash".

He said investigators were still piecing together how the 10 men had overpowered the 20 guards, who belong to Mazhuwi Protection Services, a company owned by Moti.

"Police were also still waiting for forensic results from the fingerprints found on the car. What we know is that it is not the gang targeting the area. It's a very unusual crime. It is the first time we have a house robbery with 10 suspects," said Maphakela.

"We are still investigating how the suspects knew exactly where to go. For now we know that some of the men came in wearing uniforms but they also took the uniforms from some of the security guards who were held up, so that officers arriving for the day shift would not realise they were not the proper guards."

At the same time, the Moti family has launched an internal investigation with their heads of security to establish what went wrong.

It is also understood that Moti had purchased the property next to his mansion and had broken down the building for further renovations.

Family spokeswoman Tracy Purto said the family were still very traumatised by Friday's events. She said the family had not ruled out the possibility that it was an inside job, but they were still investigating.

"The Motis have a big staff compliment. They are catching up with all their staff. But their focus is to co-operate with the police, but firstly to concentrate of the well-being of the family," she said.

"They (the robbers) were calm and not violent, although they used threats of violence to get what they wanted. They were patient and meticulous. It was well planned, they knew what they wanted."

The incident has drawn mixed reactions from surrounding neighbours. One man, who did not wish to be named, eagerly questioned police at the scene on whether the suspects had been arrested. He told the Star last week that he, too, had been held up at his home. Another neighbour, though, was unperturbed.

Maphakela said anyone with information should call the Bramley police at 011 445 4115 or the Alexandra Trio Task Team's Matome Mokoena at 082 217 3016.

The life of Zunaid Moti
August 16 2010 at 08:04am

Related Stories

Cops probe mansion robbery
By Anel Lewis

Fast cars, quick property deals and now an early morning house robbery that appears to have been executed with military accuracy and speed.

That is the life of Zunaid Moti, a car-loving businessman with links to several property deals, including the controversial transfer of 33 tracts of prime land owned by the City of Johannesburg.

But who is this 36-year-old, known for his smart attire and driving even smarter cars, usually a Lamborghini or a Lexus?

He comes from Mokopane, where his father ran a general dealership. But it was during his time at St Albans College in Pretoria that Moti reportedly developed his love for fancy cars.

Coveting the cars that the parents of his wealthier friends could afford to drive, he started FutureFin, which provided finance for people wanting to buy high-end luxury cars.

Several years later and Moti has about 204 listed enterprises, according to the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office. Among these is the diversified Abalengani group, which has subsidiary companies involved in property, consulting, jewellery and mining. But Abalengani does not have a clean financial track record, and the company has made headlines for its bad debt.

At the end of 2009, Abalengani reached a settlement with Investec for about R1,5-billion that was owed to the bank. A deal to restructure the debt was reached.

The Abalengani property groups focus on land ownership, creating an opportunity for development companies and investors to buy land in prime areas. It also forms joint ventures with developers and investors on commercial property options, mainly in Sandton.

But a property deal with Eildoug Investments, for several prime tracts of land, turned sour for the group when The Star revealed in May that the properties were illegally transferred from the City of Johannesburg without the consent of the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC).

Eildoug Investments sold the land to various companies, including Zamien Investments and Zambrotti Investments. Moti was a former director of both companies and is one of the financiers.

The two companies bought 25 of the properties from Eildoug in a multi-million rand deal. The properties included land zoned for parks and recreation, such as a section of the Norscot Koppies and Kingfisher Nature Reserve.

Moti and the director of Zamien Investments, Salim Bobat, told The Star then that they were not aware of how Eildoug had obtained the properties.

It was understood that proper process had been followed. The companies have opposed an application by the JPC to have the properties returned to the council and referred the matter to the Commercial Crimes Unit.

One of Moti's other companies, 85 Grayston Drive Developments, was provisionally liquidated by the Grahamstown High Court last year, after the company failed to repay an R8,8-million deposit that had been paid for the development of a project that never got off the ground.

The company was saved when Moti was able to broker an out-of-court agreement regarding the debt.

Moti has also been involved in the development of the luxury Nondela Drakensberg Estate, estimated to cost R1bn.


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  9. What a question? Where is Ralph? Luke Enslin and Mike Bolhujz .....Ja nê this SAGA...who would have thought Luke's gonna loose he's job. Both where involved from day 1 with Ralph missing. Eugene Viljoen is the only name they know...their is so much you don't know. What happened in Dillstroom. Harties..Jacky got arrested. Hawks...Viljoen and Verster..Luke was with them....Wonder why she was never asked for a statement. No wait Luke did the missing report on that Sunday. Nick Du Rand still took her to the station......can't believe the shit they wrote in the News papers. And ya Eugene Viljoen.. He took the Ralph Haynes story and told nothing but lies.