The new bouncer network that moved in to take control of nearly 200 of Cape Town’s nightclubs after the assassination of underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka, is operating illegally.
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) confirmed this week that SPS was not licensed as a legitimate provider of security services.
SPS is controlled by murdered security boss Cyril Beeka’s one-time rival, André Naudé, along with Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman, and Beeka’s former partner in Pro-Security, Jacques Cronjé.
SPS also has alleged links with Jerome “Donkie” Booysen, named in court as leader of the Sexy Boys gang from Belhar.
All providers of protection to people and/or property are required in terms of the Private Security Regulatory Authority Act 56 of 2001, to:
l Be registered with PSIRA.
l To operate within its codes.
l To submit to its inspections and other disciplines.
Weekend Argus understands SPS has taken over security services in 183 entertainment venues in the city, the northern and southern suburbs, along with most entertainment venues in Stellenbosch, without this essential registration.
This could leave the company’s directors vulnerable to hefty fines and blacklisting from the industry.
Weekend Argus can also reveal that only one of the major players in SPS is registered as a security guard.
As well as companies, the act requires all security personnel – bosses as well as foot-soldiers – to be registered and accredited by PSIRA.
Only people without criminal records may operate as security providers in terms of the act.
PSIRA communications manager Siziwe Zuma and communications officer Maggie Moroaswi both confirmed this week that SPS was not registered with PSIRA, nor had it applied for accreditation.
“PSIRA is investigating the alleged contravention of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act by Specialised Protection Services,” Moroaswi said.
“Everyone that intends to render a security-related service must be registered with PSIRA before such services are offered.”
Zuma said: “We are currently conducting investigations and will advise you of the outcomes…”
Moroaswi added that PSIRA had rejected Naudé’s application as a security guard or “individual” security provider.
Naudé told Weekend Argus this was because of his conviction for assault in 1993.
Moroaswi said neither Booysen nor Lifman was currently registered as a security provider with PSIRA.
Cronjé was registered as an individual security provider – though not in association with any company.
The managements of several Cape Town clubs have told Weekend Argus they had been intimidated to sign on to SPS in what more than one described as a classic underworld protection racket scenario unfolding around them – in which a failure to pay up would be met with either the threat or the reality of violence on the premises.
Clubs that opted to employ their own doormen were nevertheless required to pay so-called “management fees” to SPS for (putatively) “keeping the streets clean”, it also emerged.
Venues pay from R250 a week to R25 000 per month for SPS’s services. Some said this was simply because it wasn’t worth it to refuse.
The establishment of SPS comes in the wake of the assassination of Beeka, previously the kingpin in club protection in Cape Town.
Weekend Argus reported last week that the death of Beeka, who once controlled Pro-Security, had left a void that was filled by SPS.
Investigating officer Paul Hendrikse two weeks ago revealed in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court that Booysen was a suspect in the March 2011 drive-by killing of Beeka.
Booysen was the last person Beeka visited before he was gunned down.
The pressure on the nightclub industry intensified this week when Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato met Western Cape provincial commissioner Arno Lamoer after Plato said he had also received reports of intimidation from city club owners.
After the meeting on Monday, Plato announced that crime intelligence would investigate the bouncer industry.
Meanwhile, Plato has acknowledged to the Weekend Argus that Booysen called him to inform him that Lifman was to invite him to the launch of SPS on December 5 last year.
A source said SPS wanted Plato to be the keynote speaker, but he declined because there was “a dark cloud of suspicion hanging over the company”.
Naudé said this week SPS was applying for legal status with PSIRA, “but there’s a lot of legal issues and red tape involved”.
However, in its policy document, SPS said it operated in line with SA laws and regulations.
Western Cape police spokesman André Traut said if PSIRA laid a charge, the police would investigate.