WhatsApp group chat exposes inner workings of gangs and guns

07:17 (GMT+2) Tue, 10 Jan 2017

A WhatsApp group chat has revealed behind the scene dealings of Port Elizabeth gangsters who appear to have easy access to firearms, this information came to light during a bail application at the city’s magistrate’s court where two men from a notorious gang are applying for bail on Monday.

Deilon Makoppa and Kurt Bosman are applying for bail following a so-called revenge mission in which at least two people were killed and another kidnapped during December last year. A third accused Damian Kammies has abandoned his bid for bail and still has two pending cases of murder against his name.

The men who are reportedly affiliated with a notorious gang the ‘Spotbouers’, are facing charges of murder, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

According to the State, Makoppa, nicknamed as ‘Fresh’, was an active participant on the Whatsapp chat group. The chat appears to indicate where gang members would store firearms, in addition to this one picture depicted two revolvers and a pistol.

In a separate image a man in a pink jacket is seen carrying what appeared to look like an Uzi.

However, in giving evidence on Monday, Makoppa denied being a participant in the chat group and said he shared the Blackberry phone with another person Zandre Jansen.

Makoppa said he did not chat about firearms and only used the phone for BBM messaging.

It further emerged that at the time of Makoppa’s arrest during December last year, the arresting officer Sergeant Conrad Goosen confiscated the Blackberry phone while Makoppa supplied him with a password ‘freshdeilon’.

In giving evidence Goosen said that at the time of Makoppa’s arrest he also confiscated a pink jacket.

He added that the police’s cyber unit were unable to retrieve the Whatsapp messages so he instead took screenshots of the conversations.

Defence attorney Ryno Scholtz however argued that it was impossible for Makoppa to be a member on the chat group, this on the basis that an encrypted message stated the cell phone number was no longer an active participant in the WhatApp group chat.

According to the State the men were on a revenge mission to seek out Neville Bruintjies known as ‘China’. Bruintjies apparently disarmed two fellow Spotbouers gang members of a gun.

During November last year, Bruintjies was allegedly sought out by the men and in the process a man was killed and his body discovered in the Malabar vlak area. During this time Bruintjies’s mother’s house was reportedly burnt down.

The three accused allegedly then made their way to Schauderville looking for Bruintjies. In their quest for information of his whereabouts they allegedly assaulted and kidnapped Franklin Matthys.

The State alleges that in the interim Matthy’s cousin, Deon, was shot and killed in cold blood by the accused.

It previously emerged that Matthys has since supplied an affidavit stating that he wished to withdraw the assault charge against the accused as the matter was “mediated between families”.

Bosman also took to the stand and testified that he was not involved in the shooting, he claimed that at the time of the incident he was sleeping at home.

The matter was postponed until January 12 for closing arguments.

– African News Agency (ANA)


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