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A Cape Town Man Has Been Convicted Of Murdering The Father Of A Hawks Detective

A Cape Town Man Has Been Convicted Of Murdering The Father Of A Hawks Detective

Hawks Detective
A Cape Town Man Has Been Convicted Of Murdering The Father Of A Hawks Detective—

A Cape Town man has been sentenced for murdering the father of a Hawks detective.

Abongile Nqodi was convicted in the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court of participating in the activities of a gang, conspiracy to commit murder, murder, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

Nici Heerschap, 74, was gunned down while in his vehicle near his home in Melkbosstrand on 9 July 2019. He was the father of Detective Warrant Officer Nico Heerschap.

Heerschap Junior was investigating alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack at the time of the murder, said Ntabazalila.

Nqodi told the court that he was a member of the 28s prison gang and the Terrible West Siders operating in Woodstock. In his plea-and-sentencing agreement, he confessed that, together with three other men, he drove to an address in Melkbosstrand to kill Heerschap Junior.

“When they arrived at the address, they saw a white male reversing out of the yard in a bakkie. He and [the back-up shooter] got out of their vehicle, went to the reversing vehicle, and he shot the driver twice in the head,” said Ntabazalila.

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The men were paid R25 000 for the assassination, the court heard, which they split five ways.

“[Nqodi] claims he later met Modack in Kuils River, and he congratulated him on the job well done in Melkbosstrand, and Modack told him not to worry about legal fees as he had covered them. He gave him the name of a lawyer who would defend him,” said Ntabazalila.

Nqodi confessed that he had murdered the deceased on instruction of Modack and the leader of the Terrible West Siders, said Ntabazalila. He also claimed that Modack had funded the murder.

Modack is one of the accused in the Charl Kinnear murder case. He and his co-accused face a multitude of charges relating to the murder of Kinnear, an Anti-Gang Unit detective, the attempted murder of lawyer William Booth, and an attempted hand grenade attack at Kinnear’s home.

In aggravation of sentence, prosecutor advocate Adenaan Gelderblom argued that the murder had been planned and aimed at eliminating a Hawks investigating officer, who had been investigating Modack. He said several law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary had become the targets of criminal attacks for doing their legal duties.

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“[Nqodi] has agreed to [testify] against other gang members involved in the murder of Nicolaas Paulus Heerschap. He will also testify as a State witness in the case of the murder of a tow truck driver, the attempted murder of Andre Naude and the conspiracy to kill Cape Town lawyer William Booth, to which crimes he has already confessed and did pointing outs related thereto. The State takes cognisance that its case would have been faced with challenges without the voluntary cooperation of the accused,” he said.

Nqodi has been sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder, with five years suspended on the condition that he not be convicted of murder or attempted murder during the period of suspension.

The court further ordered that the sentence for murder run concurrently with the sentence he was already serving for a previous conviction. He is currently serving 15 years’ imprisonment in that case, said Ntabazalila.

Nqodi was also handed 10 years’ imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm, 10 years’ imprisonment for illegal possession of ammunition, five years for participating in the activities of a gang, and five years for conspiracy to commit murder.

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The court ordered that the sentences imposed for participating in the activities of a gang, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition run concurrently with the sentence handed down for the murder.

Advocate Nicolette Bell, Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, welcomed the sentence. Bell said she appreciated Nqodi’s cooperation, adding that the killing of law enforcement officers was a very serious crime that should be dealt with harshly if the State intended to fight crime effectively.

“The killing of law enforcement officers is a crime against the state, and the book should be thrown at anyone who is involved in such a crime. We need to get behind the hitmen and deal harshly with those who give them instructions,” she added.

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