How bodies have piled up around Radovan Krejcir

"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."

Timeline

  • 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

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories