On Wednesday alleged kingpin, Fadwaan “Vet” Murphy, and his six co-accused pleaded not guilty to a mountain of charges in the Western Cape High Court.
Murphy, 44, his ex-wife Shafieka Murphy, sister Glenda Bird and four others face 239 charges relating to racketeering, money laundering, drug dealing and charges under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).
Murphy stieked uit at court surrounded by bodyguards who escorted him in and out of the building, hiding his face from media cameras.
There was drama when two of Murphy’s guards were removed from the court corridors after one of them was searched and cops found empty gun holsters on him.
Murphy, Shafieka, Bird, as well as homeowner Dominic Davidson, suspected henchman Leon Paulsen and Desmond Jacobs all pleaded not guilty and said they will not be taking the witness stand in their own defence.
Paulsen spent a month behind bars after he was busted at one of Murphy’s two homes in Turksvy Street, Lentegeur, and found in possession of R338 000 cash on 23 December 2014.
State prosecutor Aradhana Heeaman said the State was set to prove that Murphy had created an illegal enterprise, his business Ulterior Trading CC, and used its profits to buy property and other assets.
“The Court will hear evidence that moveable and immovable assets were acquired by unlawful activities,” she said.
She indicated a woman, who was arrested on 18 September 2015 at Davidson’s house in Reindeer Street, Lotus River, has since turned State witness.
Shafieka and another woman were also arrested during this raid.
Police confiscated drugs and cash of over R4 million which included 7985 packets of tik, 10 400 units of heroin and sealing machines.
Heeaman said the woman told police she had been employed by Murphy and would testify about how she was recruited, her role in the drug lab and how she was paid.
However, matters ground to a halt when Murphy’s lawyer, Jan van der Berg, claimed the search was possibly conducted without a warrant.
“If one has a warrantless search, it will affect what was found, the roleplayers, who were arrested and would affect the indictment and Mr Murphy and his business, Ulterior Trading CC,” Van der Berg said.
Acting Judge Diane Davis then ordered the legality of the search be tested first, and this trial within a trial would commence on 15 October.
Since his arrest, the State has confiscated several vehicles and five properties belonging to Murphy.