Underworld bosses and gang wars — The life of Pete Mihalik

Prominent criminal lawyer Pete Mihalik, 50, who was gunned down outside his children’s school on Tuesday morning tackled some of the most controversial cases before the Cape Town courts.

Over the years Mihalik has been the go-to lawyer for underworld figures and individuals linked to a deadly turf war that has been blamed for numerous assassination attempts and killings in Cape Town.

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There has been a “turf war”, News 24 reported, between a more well-established grouping linked to Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman and a “new” faction headed by Nafiz Modack for the last two years.

The Booysen brothers, who are linked to Cape Town gang Sexy Boys, Colin and Jerome “Donkie” Booysen – have been divided with Colin siding with Modack and Donkie with Lifman.

It is believed that Mihalik found himself deeply involved in this stand-off and had attempted to intervene to resolve the dispute. Mihalik had appeared in court on behalf of Modack and Colin.

Previously, he also appeared on behalf of international kickboxer, Jan “The Giant” Nortje who was accused of stealing a R1.7-million diamond.

Until February this year, Mihalik also represented Jason Rohde, the former property mogul who stands accused of murdering his wife, Susan Rohde, during a conference at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch.

Murder in Green Point

At around 07.30 on Tuesday an unknown gunman walked up to Mihalik’s Mercedes-Benz SUV just outside Reddam House private school in Green Point and fired at least two shots through the window on the driver’s side.

Mihalik was killed at the scene, police confirmed. His son, 8, is believed to be seriously injured. His daughter was unharmed.

A photograph showing a bloody backpack, believed to belong to Mihalik’s son, was published earlier on Tuesday.

Mihalik was less than 2km from a beachfront home in Mouille Point that he owns. It is not clear if he lived there.

Deeds office searches show that Mihalik purchased the R11-million property in 2015. He also owns a property in Khayelitsha and an apartment in a complex named Luxor Park, Wynberg.

The shooting is the latest in a string of murders in recent years that appear to be linked to gang activity in the Cape Town area.

In November 2016, attorney Noorudien Hassan, 45, was shot outside his Lansdowne home. Hassan, who was close to Mihalik, died in hospital from his wounds. — News24

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Kyle Cowan
Kyle Cowan

Kyle Cowan is an investigative journalist at News 24.

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