In the wake of advocate Pete Mihalik’s murder, no photographs of the legal practitioners representing four alleged underworld figures on trial for extortion may be taken, the Cape Town Regional Court ruled on Monday.
Businessman Nafiz Modack, Colin Booysen – brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome Booysen – Ashley Fields and Jacques Cronje appeared in court on Monday on charges of extortion and running an unregistered security service.
Mihalik was the lead defence lawyer in the extortion case before recusing himself earlier in the proceedings.
He was laid to rest on Saturday after he was shot dead while dropping his children off at school in Green Point. The funeral was attended by high-profile figures in the underworld.
In light of the killing, Magistrate Bruce Pedro barred the media from taking photographs of the lawyers and to respect the dignity of the accused when taking their photographs.
Among the other charges against the accused are money laundering and the obstruction of justice.
The charges relate to allegations that the accused took over security operations at clubs and restaurants, forcing owners to pay them.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all charges and exercised their right to remain silent.
Police officers lined the courtroom as the first State witness, brand manager of the Grand Café Radley Dijkers, testified about how Modack and his co-accused had taken over the restaurant’s security.
The case continued on Monday.