A wealthy Cape Flats businessman accused of supplying guns to gangsters has sold his shares in four restaurants after calls from the public to boycott the establishments.
Meanwhile, the People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) have slammed the courts for granting Laher bail, while their crime fighters rot in jail.
Rondebosch businessman Irshaad Laher, charged with corruption, theft of firearms and ammunition, possession of prohibited firearms and money laundering, was the co-owner of Spur branches in Observatory and Ottery, as well as the Nando’s restaurants in Belgravia and Gardens.
Laher has been fingered as the middle man between a former police colonel who stole firearms from a police armoury and the Cape Flats gangsters who bought them.
He is out on bail of R100 000.
Speaking to Voice of the Cape news on Thursday, Laher said he chose to sell his franchises because it was affecting the reputation of the companies and staff.
“I’ve distanced myself from these businesses because so many people’s lives have been hurt because of this,” he said.
Meanwhile, Radio 786 reports that shares in Nando’s Belgravia have been sold to Fayaaz Ahmed Parker, of Airports Meat Company, and Reaaz Ahmed, the owner of Good Hope Meat Hyper in Salt River.
Laher’s decision comes after calls by the Gangsterism Must Fall group for mense to boycott his businesses.
Former cop Christiaan Prinsloo of Vereeniging was recently sentenced to 18 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including theft, racketeering and money laundering.
He had been in charge of the police armoury and stole 2 400 guns over almost a decade.
It is alleged he met Laher in Gauteng when he was a policeman and Laher a reservist.
Investigators testified that Prinsloo sold about 2 000 guns to Laher.
The case has been postponed to July 22.
Meanwhile, Pagad spokesman Haroon Orrie slammed government for not acting sooner on Pagad warnings, made 19 years ago, “about the smuggling of drugs and guns between police officers and prominent Cape businessmen”.
“The government, politicians and the police must take full responsibility for every child, man and woman that are killed in gang warfare” said Orrie.
Regarding Laher’s bail, he said: “We will continue to question the discrepancies in the justice system between rich and poor. Laher, and others like him, deserve to pay the ultimate price.”