Businessman and philanthropist Nafiz Modack appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday along with his co-accused, Jacques Cronje and Ricardo Morgan, while police officers lined the walls of the courtroom, holding rifles and wearing bullet-proof vests.

Two armed specialist officers also escorted the magistrate as more officers stood around Police Minister Bheki Cele and the Western Cape police's top brass – acting Western Cape Commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile and Major-General Jeremy Vearey.

Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) head Major-General Andre Lincoln arrived shortly afterwards, reports News24.

Prosecutor Blaine Lazarus said Modack, Cronje and Morgan faced charges of intimidation, kidnapping, extortion, money laundering, violation of the Electronic Communications Act and charges under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Lazarus said the state would oppose their release on bail and asked for a postponement to Friday to allow the state to prepare.

Then, while they were all still in the dock, Cronje was asked to step back and Modack and Morgan were charged with the attempted murder of lawyer William Booth, conspiracy to commit murder, and pinging (cellphone location tracking).

After the second set of charges was read, Morgan was asked to step back, leaving Modack to stand alone to face charges of attempted murder, reckless driving and a charge of resisting arrest – related to a car chase with police when he was arrested in Cape Town last Thursday.

In the Booth case, Kauthar Brown, Riyaad Gesant and Ibrahim Deare have already been found guilty in connection with the attack on the lawyer, who was shot at five times in his garage in Cape Town on 9 April 2020.

News24 notes they entered into a plea and sentencing agreement which included admitting that they were part of the criminal activities of Woodstock's Terrible West Siders, which the state described as a gang.

Springs debt collector and former rugby player Zane Kilian remained as the only accused until yesterday's developments.

He was added to the Booth matter in the course of his court processes after he was charged with the murder of slain AGU detective Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear.

He had been described by the state during his bail application as key in the intelligence-gathering for the hit on Kinnear.

He denies the allegations.

Full News24 report