/ 13 November 2013

How bodies have piled up around Radovan Krejcir

Radovan Krejcir.
Radovan Krejcir. (M&G)

"Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw." TS Eliot may have been writing about South Africa's own "Napoleon of Crime", Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, who has publicly distanced himself from the murders which continue to baffle Johannesburg's underworld. 

But his name is never far from the murky world that is Johannesburg's gangland, and the bodies around Krejcir keep piling up.

True to form, following a bombing at the businessman's shop: "When the milk is missing, or another Peek's been stifled, the greenhouse glass is broken and the trellis past repair, ay, there's the wonder of the thing: Macavity's not there."


  • December 2009: Kevin Trytsman, a private investigator, who allegedly provided intelligence services to Krejcir, is shot dead at his attorney's office.
  • February 2010: Uwe Gemballa, a German luxury car dealer, goes missing shortly after arriving in South Africa. He allegedly helped Krejcir smuggle money into the country and held it at a house belonging to Krejcir's business manager before his murder.
  • May 2010Teazers kingpin Lolly Jackson is murdered. Jackson and Krejcir were allegedly involved in a money-laundering syndicate.
  • October, 2010: Johannesburg businessman Chris Kouremetis is shot and killed in what is thought to be a botched drug deal. Intelligence sources link him to Krejcir but evidence connecting the two remains thin.
  • March 2011: Krecjir's security consultant Cyril Beeka is gunned down in a drive-by shooting. Jackson was allegedly poised to start a local franchise of Gemballa's car business with Krejcir, but the venture didn't materialise.
  • September 20 2011: Ian Jordaan, Jackson's lawyer and the man believed to be handling his estate, is killed. His body is found in a burnt-out car.
  • September 27 2011: Mark Andrews, Lolly Jackson's business associate, is killed. Andrews and Krejcir are said to have had claims against Jackson's estate.
  • November 2 2013: Veselin Laganin, from Serbia, is shot and killed in Bedfordview. Laganin, Krecjir and Jason Dominguez were arrested in February 2012 on armed robbery charges.
  • July 2013: Krejcir survives a Hollywood-esque shooting, believed to be an attempt on his life. An armed parked car opened fire on Krejcir's own vehicle. 
  • October 13, 2013: Bassam "Sam" Issa is gunned down near his Bedfordview home. Krejcir denied any links to Issa despite speculation that the two met regularly. Issa was believed to be involved in the supply of drugs to Johannesburg nightclubs.

Police are still looking for a motive for an explosion at business premises owned by Krejcir in Bedfordview in the East Rand on Tuesday, which killed two people and injured at least five.

"At this stage the motive is unknown, but investigators have taken statements from a few people," Brigadier Neville Malila told reporters. He said Krejcir was not currently considered a suspect and the case was being investigated by detectives from the Hawks and the national and provincial police.

"Investigators took a statement from him last night [Tuesday] and at this stage he is not a suspect. They will be able to get hold of him if it is needed," said Malila.

Krejcir has so far declined to comment on the blast, telling Sapa: "Sorry, I'm not talking to the press."

One of the men killed in the blast was a fugitive called Jan "John" Charvat, who is wanted in the Czech Republic and one of Krejcir's closest "enforcers", it was reported by Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

A heavily armed man who was standing near the crime scene with grieving relatives was overheard telling them that "blood will flow. I tell you, now blood will flow", the Times reported. A crime intelligence officer told the newspaper that the blast was just the build-up and that "a storm is coming".  – Additional reporting by Sapa