A Palestinian property developer is dead after two gunmen on motorbikes fired several shots at him in peak-hour traffic close to his home in Sandrift, Milnerton.
The killing of Shafiq Naser comes almost a year after his brother, Abdel Fattah Nassar, was shot dead in a gun battle near the V&A Waterfront.
Nassar is believed to have been involved in the Israeli underworld and had, according to reports, sought refuge in Cape Town from the gangland killings in that country.
Naser owned Naser Construction, based at Century City, and had been involved in the development of buildings in and around Cape Town according to filings with the City council.
The latest killing comes after the Global Organised Crime Index showed that South Africa ranked seventh
in the world, and was a hotbed for organised criminal activities, including drug trafficking, cash-in-transit operations, poaching syndicates and robberies.
Mafia-style groups, well-armed and associated with high levels of violence, are increasingly prominent, particularly in major cities such as Cape Town, Joburg and Durban.
On Wednesday, Naser was driving his Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV on Bosmansdam Road when two gunmen on two motorcycles shot at him after the traffic lights on Freedom Way, adjacent to the Sable Square shopping centre.
“He tried to drive away but drove into oncoming traffic, hit a car and overturned,” said one man who stood around as police cordoned off the area.
Another witness said the shooters fired seven shots at Naser. “He (the driver) couldn’t control the car, and he drove into a set of traffic lights and then hit a smaller Chevrolet Aveo and two bakkies.”
Another witness said he was at home when he heard gunshots.
“I heard the first gunshot and jumped over the wall to see what was going on.
Five other shots were fired and then the shot driver drove into another car. I couldn’t see where they were shooting from, but I could see a motorbike drive past but then it went back to check if the guy was dead.
Then they sped off and then I saw the Mercedes’ windows were shot out. None of us knew the victim. At first there were speculations that the victim could have been from Nigeria, but then he looked like an Arab man.”
Bystanders at the crime scene said Naser lived less than 20m from where his car came to a halt.
A neighbour said she had seen Naser in the car on Friday, speeding down Bosmansdam Road.
“He came to a sudden halt, and a girl got out of his car,” the woman said.
A bystander said Naser was alive for a short while.
“He was still alive until he reached the second robots near Bosmansdam Road,” the woman said. The two bikers shot him a third time to make sure he was dead. The bikers were on superbikes. They were wearing helmets and we couldn’t identify who they were. The gunshots were very loud.
“The way that this happened was clearly a hit. The shooting happened over a few metres because the driver kept driving away from the shooters and they followed him.”
Milnerton Community Policing Forum vice chairperson Jacqui Pember said Naser’s assassination had left the local community in shock.
“The Milnerton CPF finds it quite disturbing that an incident like this has occurred in broad daylight with such blatant disregard for anyone else who may be in the vicinity.
“Innocent motorists and bystanders have been affected and residents are obviously quite shaken. That the victim lives in the area and was a target for an alleged ‘hit’ is quite perturbing,” said Pember.
She added the CPF hoped that the SAPS would do their job as required in bringing the shooters to book.
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said the circumstances of the incident, at about 8am yesterday in Bosmansdam Road, Milnerton, where a foreign national was shot and fatally wounded, were under investigation.
“Milnerton police attended the crime scene where they found the victim with gunshot wounds to his body. According to a report, a motorcycle stopped next to the victim and fired several shots at him.
“The victim was declared dead on the scene by medical personnel. The motive for the attack is yet to be established. A murder case was registered for investigation,” he said.