CAPE TOWN – A 28s gang member was apparently the target of a shooting in a Stellenbosch club in which two patrons were killed and another wounded shortly after midnight on Saturday.
Sources with close knowledge of what happened said gunmen had been after the gangster. This has not been confirmed by police.
Two people – a woman, 30, and a man, 40 – were killed in the shooting in the Cubana in Plein Street.
Police also confirmed a second woman was wounded.
News24 knows the identities of the two who were killed, but their names have not been officially released.
Underworld violence has recently rocked the lucrative bouncer industry in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Key gangs in Cape Town, including the rival 26s, 27s and 28s, are said to be linked to the incidents.
News24 understands, according to sources, the 28s gang member who was targeted early on Saturday had been near the club shortly before the shooting.
When he neared the entrance to it, rival armed gang members went after him.
It is understood the gang member ran into the club and the gunmen had followed, when then shooting ensued.
News24 has requested comment from police ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga.
Stellenbosch University senior spokesperson Martin Viljoen on Saturday said the university community learnt of the news with great concern and sadness, and sends its sincere condolences to all those affected.
No students were killed in the incident, to their knowledge. He said it was possible that students were inside the club at the start of the shooting, raising concern over current safety in public spaces.
“SU has alerted its 24-hour ER crisis line that students may have been affected by the incident. Students can call 012 2053032 or 0825570880 for support and counselling.”
It is the third shooting seemingly related to the nightclub security industry in seven months.
Underworld violence started surging in Cape Town late last year when a new grouping of men, headed by controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, started taking control of nightclub security from a more established grouping.
For a detailed breakdown on what has been happening in the underworld, see News24’s showcase Underworld Unmasked here.
The takeover sparked violence and several shootings.
Two patrons were wounded inside Cafe Caprice in Camps Bay in a shooting on April 17.
Modack, in an exclusive interview with News24 last month, said he had been the intended target of that shooting.
A patron and a DJ were also wounded just outside Coco bar in the Cape Town city centre in a shooting on May 5.
Gang ‘links’ and massive probe
Underworld groupings involved in the matter are said to have links to gangs, in particular the 26s, 27s and 28s.
While members of the more established group, as well as Modack, have said they are against drugs, clubs are viewed as places where drugs can be peddled.
A task team, set up by the Hawks to tackle serious threats in the Western Cape, is investigating underworld violence in nightclubs.
Over the past few weeks several arrests have been made.
In one of the latest incidents, Hussain Ait Taleb, a martial arts expert better known in bouncer circles as Hussain Moroccan, was arrested last Monday on a conspiracy to commit murder charge.
On September 29, Grant Veroni and Vincent Phillips, who work at the Bellville-based security company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, trading as The Security Group (TSG) were arrested.
TSG has twice before been the target of police and Hawks operations. Taleb previously worked for the company.
Veroni and Phillips were taken into custody on charges, including fraud and others, under the Firearms Control Act.
They are expected to appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court again in early 2018.
Modack previously told News24 he was involved with TSG.
He said when firearms from the company were first seized by police outside a city centre strip club in April, these had been taken from men who were “protecting” him.
PHOTO: Police investigate the scene where two people were shot on Saturday morning in the Cubana club in Stellenbosch. (Supplied, Franco Havenga)