Cape Town’s Racketeering problem just made the frontpage of today’s Weekend Argus with my (Anti-)Racketeering group being featured! Business owners, government and business representatives or media can get in contact with me (WhatsApp +27-79-7301010 preferred) and be added to the WhatsApp group if they can be vetted and are willing contribute to solving this issue.
August 18th (the day lockdown we entered level 2 of lockdown and businesses were allowed to trade in liquor again) several Cape Town business owners in my Hospitality Leadership group reported being visited by Modack and being asked to pay up to R20.000 ‘security fee’. I am not naming any of these businesses publicly, as those that did were immediately intimidated, silenced and forced to write apologetic letters to Modack. A scheme that extends way beyond Modack, but is an always-repeating pattern extending to court cases that ALWAYS get dismissed, because witnesses memory changes.
Over the next few days, I heard of more and more businesses (Coffee Shops, Restaurants and breweries) all over Cape Town (Woodstock, Sea Point, Observatory and the CBD) being approached and intimidated by Modack’s Crew which is made up by up to 5 black cars with up to 12 visibly armed bodyguard-type gangsters wearing full-face balaclava. I also hear credible reports of non-food businesses like luxury hotels, property firms and luxury apartments being visited and silently paying Modack being approached and paying him.
Following my successful Hospitality Alliance Leadership networking group (which helped me unite the Hospitality Industry in SA during lockdown), I launched a WhatsApp group where I added business owners, law enforcement, media and government representatives to discuss the issue, realizing that most business owners were too intimidated to speak out and the participants preferred 1on1 discussions instead of discussing together how to solve this situation. It did nonetheless lead to a first media article and several death threats (of which I only published the first one). and now this frontpage article…
The real danger is that this stays the usual: some attention on the problem, great marketing for Modack, more businesses feeling forced to sign up for his (in-)’security services’ and more industries that are being forced to pay an involuntary tax on doing business in Cape Town. This time something needs to change and that is:
- I need your help in approaching Ramaphosa, business leaders and associations about this pressing issue, as the business community needs to make it clear, that 20 years of paying racketeers is enough.
- Making this Cape Town only problem public. I haven’t heard of businesses elsewhere in SA having to pay racketeers. No tourist should come, no investor should commit his money to be invested here until this problem is fixed!
- For that, I need to know who is being approached and who has been paying them. I will keep this off the record and not share with the public but need these facts to quantify the problem when dealing with stakeholders.
- These criminal organisations need to be banned for good. This happens in other countries, why not in SA? Change can happen and now is the time! The government needs to prioritize fighting gangsterism on all levels, whether it is corruption or blatant racketeering as we have now experienced for the last 20 years.