Alleged Cape gang boss to finally stand trial in March

FACING TRIAL: Ralph Stanfield, right, and his partner Nicole Johnson, seen here outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in 2014, will finally go on trial in March 2020
FACING TRIAL: Ralph Stanfield, right, and his partner Nicole Johnson, seen here outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in 2014, will finally go on trial in March 2020
Image: GALLO IMAGES/DIE BURGER/ NASIEF MANIE

Alleged gang boss Ralph Stanfield will go on trial in March after losing two preliminary skirmishes in a huge guns-to-gangs case.

Stanfield, believed to be the boss of the 28s gang, will appear in the Khayelitsha Regional Court alongside his partner, his sister, at least three former police officers and 18 others.

The case will finally get under way almost six years after Stanfield was arrested.

It will involve more than 100 charges relating to a flood of guns which drove gang warfare on the Cape Flats to unprecedented levels of bloodshed.

An earlier charge sheet said the 28s “managed the procurement, transfer, use, concealment and disposal of firearms and dangerous weapons to protect gang-related territory”.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein upheld an appeal by the police minister relating to guns seized from Stanfield, his partner Nicole Johnson and his sister Francisca Stanfield when they were arrested in June 2014.

They had applied to have the firearms returned to them.

The same trio were defeated in the Pretoria high court 11 weeks earlier when they applied for the suspension of their prosecution and the scrapping of a 2018 decision by former prosecutions director Shaun Abrahams that they should be tried in Khayelitsha.

They wanted to be tried either in Pretoria, location of the Central Firearm Registry where clerks Priscilla Manganye and Mary-Gail Cartwright are alleged to have destroyed documents relating to the Stanfields; or in Midrand, where a former officer at Olifantsfontein police station — Billy April — is alleged to have helped them obtain firearm licences fraudulently.

CROWD SUPPORT: Protesters gather at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in 2014, when alleged 28s kingpin Ralph Stanfield made his first appearance on charges relating to a guns-to-gangs syndicate
CROWD SUPPORT: Protesters gather at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in 2014, when alleged 28s kingpin Ralph Stanfield made his first appearance on charges relating to a guns-to-gangs syndicate
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Acting appeal judge Sharise Weiner said the high court in Johannesburg got it wrong when it decided there should be an inquiry under the Firearms Control Act into whether the Stanfields’ guns should be returned.

This ruling had been made on the basis that no criminal proceedings were pending, she said.

But Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Naude, of the anti-gang unit, had told the court the charges had only been provisionally withdrawn in 2016, and they would be reinstated.

“The director of public prosecutions subsequently became aware that several similar investigations had been referred to other investigators and prosecutors in different provinces,”  Weiner said.

“The scale of the offences was vastly greater than what was suspected at the time.” — TimesLIVE


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