The Western Cape Province has declared all-out war on the foreign crime lords running the Cape’s underworld.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Voice, MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato announced plans for an elite new police unit to combat the international crime barons operating here.
He confirmed the establishment of a specialist unit following a high-level meeting with top cop Arno Lamoer on Monday.
“Organised crime in the Western Cape and throughout the country is run by international figures,” Plato tells the Daily Voice.
“They are involved in abalone, drug trade, illegal diamond trading, human trafficking.”
Plato’s outburst comes just days after the Department of Home Affairs slapped fugitive Serbian hitman Dobrosav Gavric with a deportation order.
Gavric is currently behind bars following an extradition request from Serbia.
He had been secretly living in Cape Town with his family – shielded by local gangsters – after illegally entering the country in 2008.
His fake cover was only blown after he was injured in the shoot-out which claimed the life of notorious crime boss Cyril Beeka in March last year.
In his sworn affidavit – seen by the Daily Voice – Gavric, who is wanted for the murder of Serbian warlord Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic and two others, claims he himself will be assassinated if he is sent back to Serbia.
But the pleas of Gavric and other fugitives living a lavish lifestyle here cuts no mustard with Plato.
“They need to be deported immediately,” he says.
“We owe this to our people to get rid of all these unwanted criminals.”
Plato says a new crack unit to tackle these foreign criminals is the only answer.
“We need a specialised unit to infiltrate the underworld to gather enough evidence against these suspects to secure successful prosecution,” he says.
“The Commissioner [Lamoer] has given me the undertaking that he will form such a unit.”
Last year the National Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, rejected Plato’s call for the re-establishment of a specialised unit in the Western Cape.
Mthethwa said at that time: “The situation in the Western Cape is under control and there is no need for such a special unit.”
But Plato disagrees.
“The present situation in the Western Cape is out of control and is in the hands of international criminal figures,” he says.
“We need an established unit like the old gang and narcotic unit to smash these syndicates.
“I’ve chatted to a number of former members of the drug and narcotic unit who are ready to be reassigned once the new unit is established.”
Plato also confirmed reports in Monday’s Daily Voice that a “new mafia” has sprung up, threatening the city’s pub and club owners
“We are well aware of these threats,” the MEC says.
“But club owners are too scared to come forward and fearful that bodybuilders dressed in black suits will rock up at their clubs and intimidate them.”
A new group has moved in to take control of the city’s lucrative protection racket since security kingpin Beeka’s assassination.
The new kid on the block is Specialised Protection Services (SPS), run by club security boss Andre Naude and backed by controversial Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman.
SPS is an amalgamation of two rival companies: Pro Security, previously controlled by Beeka, and the competing Professional Protection Services (PPS).
But Naude strongly denies SPS is involved in any illegal activities or with intimidating or threatening club owners.
The new firm has close links with Jerome “Donkie” Booysen – the alleged leader of Belhar’s Sexy Boys gang.
Booysen was named as a suspect in Beeka’s killing in Gavric’s extradition hearing.