Vigilantes apparently tried to put the fear of God into a Cape Town businessman fingered in an arms racket in which corrupt cops sold guns to gangsters.
Police say a larney house in Rondebosch was attacked last week, which the attackers fired shots at and tried to bomb.
However, the explosive device failed to detonate.
The incident took place in Columbine Street, one street away from Herold Road, where suspected arms trader Irshaad “Hunter” Laher lives.
Laher is being linked to the sale of thousands of firearms stolen by corrupt Vereeniging police colonel Christiaan Prinsloo, who admitted in court he had sold the weapons to skollies in Cape Town.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut confirms the incident.
“We can confirm the circumstances surrounding an attack on a residence in Columbine Street, Rondebosch, are being investigated after a number of shots were fired at the house during the early hours of Tuesday, July 5.
“An explosive device which failed to detonate was found on the scene. No one was injured or been arrested.”
Hanif Loonat, the chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum, believes the attack was aimed at Laher, but vigilantes got the address wrong. He also urged the community to let the law run its course.
“They got the wrong house,” he says.
“As a crime fighter, I want to say we must not resort to such kind of tactics. Leave it to the courts to prove him guilty. We will be no better than him if we carry out such actions.”
Laher’s lawyer, Noorudien Hassan, says his client denies any knowledge of the attack, and that he no longer resides in Rondebosch.
“I spoke to my client last Thursday and he says he no longer lives in the Rondebosch area. I also do not know where he resides now. He has no knowledge of the incident.”
Asked if this didn’t contravene Laher’s bail conditions, Hassan said: “His bail conditions are that he cannot leave the country without permission, also that he needs to report to the police station.
“His bail condition doesn’t specify where he needs to live.”
According to his affidavit, Laher owns several properties, including another residence in Gardens.
Laher was arrested at his Herold Road home last month, where he lives with his wife and two young children.
The 41-year-old appeared at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on June 27, and was released on R100 000 bail.
He faces charges of racketeering and corruption, theft of firearms and ammunition, and money laundering.
He is accused of buying about 2 000 illegal firearms from Prinsloo, who last month pleaded guilty to being part of a syndicate, and received an 18-year jail sentence.
Laher recently sold his shares in two Spur and two Nando’s franchises he owned in Cape Town after calls to boycott the restaurants.