CAPE TOWN – The mask has been pulled off an intensifying underworld turf war over club security in Cape Town, with exclusive footage revealing how the battle has spilled over into establishments.
In one case a group of men are filmed bashing their way into a full venue.
Several sources have warned that the violence may escalate much further if drastic action is not taken soon.
On Wednesday night two men were murdered in Pinelands by gunmen said to be dressed in black and wearing balaclavas.
The shooting, according to several sources, was linked to underworld ructions.
These sources, who have intimate knowledge of underworld happenings, said one of those murdered was the second-in-command to a 27s gang leader.
However, this was not officially confirmed.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said two suspects fled the scene in a white Hyundai Tucson.
They were yet to be arrested.
A multidisciplinary task team, including members of the national intervention unit from Gauteng, the Hawks and the liquor unit, have carried out at least two major raids in the city centre since May to try and stamp out the violence.
In one of the latest raids targeting underworld activities, two bouncers were arrested in Long Street on Tuesday night for allegedly not being registered as is required by law.
More intense raids may be conducted.
Over the months the turf battle has escalated.
News24 has obtained exclusive footage of various incidents showing the extent of violence associated with it.
Club turf war
Cape Town has so far been the epicentre of the underworld war for control over the lucrative nightclub security industry, as well as the drug and illicit tobacco trade.
Businessman Nafiz Modack is said to be heading a new underworld faction, which is effectively hijacking the control of club security from an older, more established grouping.
This has resulted in clashes and shootings.
Several sources with intimate knowledge of what has been happening said that under the older grouping, club security was more controlled.
The newer grouping was shaking things up in a way, they said, that was resulting in violence.
However, a source linked to the newer grouping has insisted the opposite was happening – that the newer grouping is settling the turbulent industry.
Both those in the older and newer grouping have said they are against drug smuggling.
News24 has established that ructions in the underworld started at least three years ago, but the situation started getting much more volatile last year when the newer grouping started making its presence felt.
In the middle of last year, a gun was fired outside a club believed to be in the city centre.
It was not clear what had sparked this incident, but it is understood it may have had to do with a scuffle between patrons inside a venue.
Later last year, as the newer grouping was apparently preparing to move in on city clubs, a murder was carried out.
The killing happened in a Sea Point hotel on November 8, 2016.
Craig Mathieson, the night manager of Hotel 303, located in Sea Point and owned by businessman Mark Lifman, was gunned down inside it.
Lifman was previously involved in the nightclub security industry.
Nothing was stolen from the 44-year-old Mathieson or from the hotel, leaving some fearing he was the target of a hit.
No arrests appear to have been made for Mathieson’s murder.
Later that month that Mathieson was killed, a group of men, said to be from the new underworld faction, targeted a man, said to be a rival, inside a popular Cape Town establishment.
Footage of inside the establishment, dated November 27, 2016, shows a man being kicked and beaten.
It is understood the man is linked to the older underworld faction and had upset someone in the newer faction.
News24 previously witnessed members of the newer faction at a city centre club and then at a popular Cape Town strip club.
On April 17 the men, several of them armed, were seen storming the first club.
When they convened outside the strip club, police had intervened, searching them and confiscating firearms which were later returned to them.
In more exclusive footage, taken in a West Coast venue in April 2017, a man can be seen forcing his way into an establishment.
Patrons are at the bar and the door to the venue appears to be closed.
But the one man forces it in and appears to jump over something blocking his way.
He then appears to kick it.
Several men then stream into the venue.
Patrons inside do not appear to understand what is happening.
That same month, on April 17, two men were wounded in a shooting in Café Caprice in Camps Bay.
It is understood the two patrons were in the wrong place at the wrong time as they were caught up in a shooting believed to be linked to an underworld turf war.
Footage taken after the shooting shows panicked patrons rushing around the venue.
Several sources with ties to policing have said more clampdowns are planned to tackle underworld activities.
However, several other sources fear there will be more violence.
PHOTO: © Provided by http://www.news24.com Two men were killed in a shooting, said to be linked to an underworld turf war, outside a Pinelands shopping centre. (Picture: Supplied)