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26 Aug 2011 00:00
Disputes over the ownership of a company that belonged to the late Cyril Beeka are throwing new light on his relationships, including those with Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, controversial security consultant Brad Wood, high-profile company RAM couriers and an ANC-linked security firm.
Beeka was shot and killed earlier this year, allegedly when two men opened fire on his car in Cape Town.
The link with the ANC firm, Zonkizizwe Security Services, suggests that Krejcir—via Beeka—was able to infiltrate the party’s informal intelligence structures.
Beeka, who mixed with gangsters and high-profile ANC figures, was also the national security adviser for the RAM courier group.
RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers is owned by the Lazarus family and specialises in delivering high-value items such as diamonds.
The Beeka-owned company at the centre of the dispute is Confidential Deterrent Systems, which he set up with Bradford “Bad Brad” Wood.
Both Krejcir and RAM are implicated in funding part of Beeka’s share in the company, with Krejcir reportedly having lodged a claim against Beeka’s estate in connection with Confidential.
Beeka’s widow, Sonja, has, in turn, denied that his share in the company was funded by Krejcir. She claims her husband was financed by RAM, “the company he worked for”.
RAM has described Beeka as a “consultant” and has denied any involvement with Confidential. But this denial is contradicted by several factors, including:
“To the best of our knowledge, at a later stage, and in the final agreement that was effected, Cyril Beeka purchased and owned 100% of Confidential Deterrent Systems,” Lazarus said.
This happened after August last year when Wood became embroiled in a murder case at a mine run by the controversial Aurora Empowerment Systems. Wood is facing murder charges after four alleged illegal miners were shot and killed at the Grootvlei mine, then controlled by Aurora. The company is part-owned by President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse, and Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa.
Beeka allegedly called Wood, saying the publicity had “put Confidential Deterrent Systems in a bad light” and asking him whether he “would be prepared to sell his 49% shares”.
Lazarus said: “The late Cyril Beeka guided and advised RAM’s security staff on how to protect the company’s assets on a day-to-day basis and, accordingly, had access to RAM’s offices. As to the accuracy of Mr Wood’s comments, we are unable to confirm or deny same as we have no knowledge [of them]. Sean Ahmed has been employed by the RAM Group since 2002.”
The M&G has established that Confidential occupied an office in the Zonkizizwe building in Randburg. The M&G contacted Langa on August 25 but he had not responded by the time of going to print.
Attorney Juan Smuts, who is handling the Beeka estate, confirmed that the rifles were being kept at the Zonkizizwe address. He said they were being held by Ahmed on behalf of a company called Avanti Security.
But Lazarus said: “We have no idea of who Avanti is and have had no dealings with this entity.”
Avanti is apparently an offshoot of Red Security, a company owned by Beeka’s brother, Edward. Company registration records show that Ahmed became a director and 51% shareholder of Avanti in 2009.
Ahmed is co-director with Edward in another company, SMG-Services Management Group Holdings.
Smuts told the M&G that Krejcir, at a meeting on May 3, agreed that he would furnish evidence of his interest in Confidential, but had not done so.
Letter of demand
Krejcir had also not lodged any claims against the deceased estate, he said, although he had received a letter of demand relating to the repayment of R2-million against an entity called SMG Business Development and Training Consultants.
Ahmed is also registered as a director of CIS-Continental Integrated Services, a company that was planning to go into business with Krejcir and Beeka to buy a share in a gold refinery, Pan African Refineries, that is co-owned by Juan Meyer.
Meyer was the first to blow the whistle on links between Krejcir and Beeka. He is facing charges relating to a R10-million gold shipment that was seized in a joint operation by the Hawks and the South African Revenue Service in May last year.
Meyer’s name also appeared on the alleged hit list discovered in Krejcir’s home during a Hawks raid earlier this year.
On August 25, another Krejcir associate, Djordje Mihaljevic, appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on criminal charges relating to the misrepresentation of his VAT receipts. It is understood that the charges relate to allegedly fraudulent invoices he issued to Pan African Refineries.
Mihaljevic denies the charges but told the M&G he would not comment. He did not plead and the case was postponed to October 21. He was released on R10 000 bail.
Krejcir was quoted in the New Age newspaper as saying that he had bought Confidential for his son, Denis. But a source close to Beeka told the M&G that Krejcir might want to lay claim to Confidential and the weapons because of an anti-piracy maritime contract Beeka was close to finalising for the company before he was killed. The contract was allegedly worth millions of dollars and entailed Confidential escorting and protecting cargo ships headed to South Africa, the source said.
Krejcir’s lawyer, Eddie Classen, declined to answer the M&G‘s questions.
Ahmed declined to comment.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit initiative to develop investigative journalism in the public interest, produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for all our stories, activities and sources of funding.
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