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Thursday, 20 September 2012

The street faction of the 28s gang in Bishop Lavis, under the alleged leadership of George “Geweld” Thomas, was highly organised with members allocated specific tasks.

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This is according to a National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) presentation outlining its case against Thomas, who is on trial in the Western Cape High Court with 18 other co-accused. He faces more than 160 charges relating to various crimes. Thomas’s trial, which has been running for more than a year, is ongoing. The NPA presentation referred to the 28s gang, under Thomas’s leadership, as an enterprise and said it had existed since before 2006. It said the enterprise, which was continuous, had structure and a “hierarchical system of authority with positions of leadership and subservience”. “Members are assigned primary roles/functions.” The presentation said members were financially supported “through drug dealing, extortion and robberies”. One of the things it listed the enterprise as being involved in was “keeping intended victims in fear of the enterprise and in fear of its members and associates”. It outlined the functions of each of the accused and described the following six as: * George Thomas, alias “Geweld” or “Tjova”: a high ranking 28s (prison) gang member and the leader of a 28s street gang faction whose stronghold was in Bishop Lavis. He issued instructions and participated in incidents and also associated with other crime bosses. * Peter McNiel, alias “Pietie”: a 28s (prison) gang member, based in Bishop Lavis, and a member of Thomas’s street gang faction. It said he was a hitman “prized for his military training”. * Giovanni Kannemeyer, alias “Wanie”: a 28s (prison) gang member who was subservient to Thomas “even on a street level”. He was based in Belhar and was a hitman/ driver and drug dealer. * Ashraf Ryklief, alias “Arab”: a 26s (prison) gang member and a leader of the street faction of the 26s. He was based in Delft and his stronghold was The Hague, Delft. Ryklief was Thomas’s associate and a drug dealer who ordered hits and stored firearms and ammunition. He was also involved with stolen vehicles. * Reyaaz Dennis, alias “Katjies”: a 28s (prison) gang member based in Belhar, who was subservient to Thomas’s leadership on a street level. Daniels was an abalone poacher, stored firearms and ammunition and was described as a “middle man”. * Jerome Karlmeyer, alias “Volbloed”: a 28s (prison) gang member who was a member of Thomas’s 28s street faction. He was based in Delft. Karlmeyer was a hitman, drug dealer and stored firearms and ammunition. According to the presentation, in five-and-a-half years, 21 people were murdered in a gang war that had centred on Bishop Lavis and Thomas had either ordered or carried out the majority of the killings.

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