Book extract: The complicated network of organised crime

2018-05-03 00:38

In award-winning investigative journalist Mandy Wiener’s new true-crime novel, she delves into the complicated network of organised crime.  

In this edited extract, Wiener discusses how a slain lawyer who had handled the legal woes of former Teazers boss Lolly Jackson, had tried to navigate through the underworld of forced money transfers, large amounts of debt and keeping his clients happy.

Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored

by Mandy Wiener

Pan Macmillan

R295 from takelot.com

He loved the rush of the ride and the freedom that came with the wind hurtling against his body.

Given the option, Ian Jordaan would ride his motorbike from the estate he lived on in Beaulieu near Kyalami through to Louis Botha Avenue in Norwood where his legal practice was situated.

It helped with the traffic too. His Aston Martin was a plaything for weekends and his fiancée, Joanne Rizzotto, drove his silver Colt bakkie to the office. She worked as an articled clerk at the same firm.

Handsome, rugged and sun-kissed, 55-year-old Jordaan had a reputation for being something of a playboy.

He had been married twice before and 25-year-old Joanne was set to become his third wife.

SLEUTH Author of Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored, Mandy Wiener. Picture: Lisa Skinner

Tuesday, September 20 2011 was a full day for Jordaan but there were two specific tasks that stood out for him in his diary. The first filled him with a sense of foreboding.

For the past few months, he had been trying to wrap up his client Lolly Jackson’s estate. It was a messy business. Jordaan had met Jackson a few years previously – they lived near each other in Beaulieu and shared a passion for cars and motorbikes.

Jackson had turned to Jordaan to deal with his frequent run-ins with the law and counted on the attorney to keep him out of jail.

On one occasion, a photograph in the newspapers captured a laughing Jordaan in the driver’s seat, with Jackson throwing a thumbs-up sign to photographers as they drove away from court after the Teazers boss was granted bail.

Jordaan was dealing with a huge outstanding tax bill, monstrous debt and a variety of claims on the estate.

One such claim had been by the Durban boss of Teazers, Shaun Russouw, who argued that he owned half the Teazers logo and brand.

Others also wanted a piece of the estate, but there wasn’t much money to go around. Just about all of it was going to the taxman.

The claim that most worried Jordaan was one submitted in May 2011 on behalf of a company in the name of Radovan Krejcir’s wife, Katerina. Jordaan believed Krejcir was behind the move.

Essentially, he was arguing that Jackson had signed numerous acknowledgments of debt before he died and the estate now had to repay these loans, which amounted to R11 million.

Jordaan was not willing to sign off on the claim because there was no paperwork to back it up – the money had all been channelled through off-shore accounts and there was no supporting evidence to prove that money had actually been paid over.

At 12.45pm on that Tuesday afternoon, Jordaan sent a fax to Karla Strydom, the lawyer handling this particular matter for Krejcir, and informed her that the claim had been rejected.

Jordaan was under no illusions about what he had just done and he didn’t expect Krejcir to be thrilled with his decision.

He knew about the rumours swirling around the Czech and what he might be capable of, but Jordaan was principled and ethical.

He was a good man, true to his values.

With that task out of the way, Jordaan turned his attention to the second big job of the day.

He had been asked to do something a little unusual. A new client wanted to meet with him but because the person was a paraplegic, he had to go to them.

The person had cancelled once before but the meeting was fixed for the Tuesday afternoon.

Jordaan often kept his firearm on him, but that day he opted to leave his gun in his drawer in his office.

He also considered taking Joanne with him, but then decided against it.

He left the office of Jordaan & Wolberg on Louis Botha Avenue in his bakkie at 2pm, after mentioning to his colleagues that he was on his way to a meeting.

Jordaan steered his bakkie from Norwood towards Balfour Park shopping centre and through into Johannesburg Road in Lyndhurst. His destination was apparently an apartment in a block of residential flats.

None of these details has ever been confirmed before a court of law, nor have they been made public in sworn affidavits, but sources close to the investigation and to Jordaan have pieced together the likely events of that day.

The person who had lured Jordaan to the non-existent meeting was Mark Andrews, who was not a paraplegic but a former protégé of Lolly Jackson who had been engaged in a legal battle with him over the Cresta branch of Teazers.

Thickset, with receding, spiked blond hair, Andrews was a keen poker player who had been involved in Teazers since 2008.

He and Jackson had been close. They travelled to Europe together to recruit strippers for the business and the boss even allowed his protégé the use of his sports car collection when he was out of town.

But, almost inevitably in this business, there was a personal fallout – and it was over a woman.

ndrews fell in love with a stripper named Micaela. Lolly was unwavering in his one key rule in his clubs and this relationship was completely against the company policy.

According to reports, Jackson had previously fired Micaela from the Cape Town Teazers after she got involved with another business partner.

Andrews knew he was out in the cold so he took action, freezing Jackson out of the Teazers Cresta bank accounts and squeezing him out of the club, renaming it Decadence.

Jackson turned to the court. He was granted full control of the club and Andrews was ordered to vacate the premises.

At the same time, the court did give Andrews permission to sue Jackson.

The court also ordered that R1.8 million be held in a trust account in the event that Andrews’ application was successful.

The money was put into Jordaan’s trust account and he was the caretaker of the cash.

Of course, Andrews knew the money was there. He had found himself in a tight spot of late and had racked up some serious debt.

According to a Media24 Investigations report, Andrews had accumulated credit card and other debts of close to R1 million, the bulk of which had been written off by creditors.

He had relocated to Thailand and spent some time there before returning to South Africa to sort out his legal wrangle with Jackson.

“Andrews was on the bones of his ass and Lolly told him to jump in a lake,” said one of Jackson’s former associates.

The police believe that Andrews wanted the money that was left in trust with Jordaan, so he lured Jordaan to the flat in Lyndhurst under false pretences to get him to transfer the cash.

At around 4pm, the secretary at the law firm received a call from Jordaan.

He told her that a man in a pink shirt would be coming to collect his laptop and a 3G dongle he used for internet banking, and it would be in order for her to hand it over.

CCTV footage shows a black man in a pink shirt walking into the office, taking the laptop and leaving.

He was Thabo Maimane, Andrews’ side-kick.

Maimane had worked as a police reservist and sources say he had been involved in a shooting at a Harrismith music festival in which multiple people were killed.

At the time of the Jordaan incident, he was running a coffee shop in Newtown.

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January 12 2020