A security company director, at the centre of a case involving an unlicensed firearm which is allegedly linked to underworld activities, has been denied bail due to a pending criminal case.
Grant Veroni appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
His lawyer Bruce Hendricks, who heads Hassan-Harmse Attorneys, confirmed that Veroni was denied bail due to another pending case.
Hendricks said he was in the process of appealing the bail ruling.
Unlicensed firearm and fraud charges
Veroni, director of Bellville-based company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, trading as The Security Group (TSG), faces two charges relating to the alleged possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
He faces a fraud charge in a separate case, set to be heard in Bellville, in which it is alleged that Veroni and a second accused recruited security guards and applied for firearm licences for them, but never actually employed them.
In court last week it emerged that TSG, according to a police investigator, was linked to underworld figures including controversial businessman Nafiz Modack.
Earlier this year, a group of men headed by Modack started taking over the control of nightclub security from a more established grouping.
This resulted in violence and several shootings.
The two charges Veroni faces in the Cape Town case, in which he applied for bail, relate to a firearm found in his possession in a flat above a club in Long Street – a popular party strip in the Cape Town city centre – last month.
It is alleged that the firearm was not licensed, but Veroni denies this.
Last week, the court heard that Veroni had been acting as a bodyguard for Colin Booysen, the brother of suspected Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome Booysen, at the time.
Sergeant Edward Edwardes, who is involved in police investigations of the underworld, had testified that the firearm Veroni had on him was registered to the company Eagle VIP Security.
However, in March this year, Eagle VIP Security was no longer allowed to operate due to the non-payment of annual fees.
The firearm licence was therefore nullified when the company was shut down.
Nightclub security takeover
Edwardes had testified that TSG was involved in trying to dominate the nightclub security industry.
He said controlling nightclub security meant being in control of the drug trade.
Edwardes had testified that another of TSG’s directors, Hussain Ait Taleb, a martial arts expert better known in bouncer circles as Hussain Moroccan, faced a conspiracy to commit murder charge for allegedly contracting two individuals to kill a club owner.
Edwardes said the club owner had refused to pay Taleb for protection and was therefore targeted.
Taleb is set to apply for bail in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court later this month.
Edwardes had testified that many of TSG’s security guards were not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira).
He said that some Psira inspectors feared they would be targeted and killed if they spoke out against certain companies involved in nightclub operations.
Investigations into underworld activities were ongoing.
It emerged during last week’s court proceedings that more arrests could be carried out.
PHOTO: thomas_sly/Flickr (file photo).