Cape lawyers’ murders become cold cases




African News Agency


NEARLY six years after the murder of advocate Noorudien Hassan and three years after the killing of advocate Vernon Jantjies, police have failed to make any arrests. The cases the legal representatives were presiding over have also dragged on for years. This week, police confirmed that there were no new leads in the cases of Hassan and Jantjies, whose murders rocked Cape Town. Hassan, who had represented alleged high-flyer Ralph Stanfield, was shot and killed in front of his Lansdowne home while sitting in his car in November 2016. At the time of his murder, Hassan also represented businessman Irshaad Laher, who is facing charges relating to selling guns meant for destruction and sold to gang bosses. Laher’s case is still on the pre-trial listing at the Cape High Court. The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed Stanfield’s case is expected to resume in June. Jantjies’ murder sparked outrage after he was shot and killed outside of the linen shop he owned in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, in December 2019. Jantjies had been representing Glenda Bird, who is now dead, the sister of alleged drug kingpin Fadwaan “Vet” Murphy, who is on trial at the Cape High Court with his co-accused and is facing over 200 charges. The NPA also confirmed Murphy’s 2018 trial is still on the court roll and that their offices had been subpoenaed to hand over all communication documentation by June. Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said Hassan’s case remained unsolved and appealed to anyone with information to come forward. “The investigation into the matter you are referring to is under investigation.” On Jantjies’ case, police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said it was still under investigation, and there were no new developments to report. Steve Mahlangu, deputy director for media research and liaison for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said they were now cold cases with no new leads. NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that Murphy’s case had been set down for June after their offices had been subpoenaed to provide communication between the State and the police, and Stanfield’s case was also on the roll. Murphy and his co-accused, his ex-wife, Shafieka Murphy, Dominic Davidson, alleged henchman Leon Paulsen and Desmond Jacobs face charges of drug possession and drug distribution. “In the matter of State vs Fadwaan Murphy, after the State closed its case, the defence brought a Section 174 application, which was dismissed,” Ntabazalila said. “They then had to lead their case, but instead, they served our office a subpoena requesting the state to provide all communication between the State and the police on this case i.e. electronic and hard copy documents. “We informed the court we are going to oppose that application. The application is now set down for June 1 and 2. The case against Ralph Stanfield will continue at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on June 24.” Ntabazalila also confirmed that the case against the men accused of murdering advocate Pete Mihalik was also set down for court on Monday. “The Biyela matter (Milhalik murder) has been postponed for trial on May 16,” he said. Mihalik was shot and killed in October 2018 while dropping his children off in Green Point. His child and girlfriend were wounded. Sizwe Biyela, Nkosinathi Khumalo and Vuyile Maliti are appearing in court. Hassan’s family told the Weekend Argus they were not able to comment: “We are not in a position to comment at this stage due to sensitivity.”