A crashed Ferrari and an R800 000 repair bill are at the centre of a legal fight between reputed Cape Town mafioso Nafiz Modack and a Durban panelbeater.
Modack appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court this week on charges of extortion and intimidation – causing a stir when he arrived surrounded by a heavy private security detail armed with assault rifles because of what he says is a R20-million bounty on his head.
He found himself on the wrong side of the law in Durban, too, when panelbeater Selvan Naick approached the high court on Friday to stop police removing Modack’s Ferrari from his auto shop and to seek protection from the alleged gangster.
Naick, the owner of Gabby’s Auto Tech in Ballito, claimed in an urgent application brought by Advocate Shan Govender that Modack had sent him death threats and lied to police about his Ferrari being stolen.
The matter was temporarily withdrawn after Naick was assured the car would not be removed until his bill was settled.
In court papers, Naick said that he had known Modack since 2006 as they both worked as motor vehicle dealers. He said that in 2017, when he told Modack he wanted to buy property in the Western Cape, the alleged gangster suggested that he buy his property in Plattekloof for R650 000.
Naick said that after he paid Modack’s attorney the money, the deal changed and he was forced to pay a further R350 000 to Modack via his family trust and his attorney. This, he said, was the beginning of a fraud scam in which he forked out close to R1.5-million to Modack.
As for the Ferrari, in his application Naick said: “According to Nafiz, his friend drove and crashed the Ferrari on March 8 after attending a birthday party in Durban. He told me the vehicle was not insured. Nafiz informed me that he was in Cape Town and that I should go to Umhlanga Rocks to have the damages assessed. He promised to settle the repair bill from a property he said he had put on sale for R3-million.”
Naick said the car had been at his workshop since March 15 and his team had done extensive work on it as well as ordering costly parts: “The left front fender, two headlamps, cradle and bonnet have been ordered at a cost of approximately R400 000.”
Naick claimed that although Modack assured him that he could hold the car until the debt was settled, he had been contacted by a man who first claimed to be from a bank, saying he wanted to take possession of the Ferrari. The man eventually admitted to Naick that he had been sent by Modack to collect the car.
Naick said that after he refused to release the car, he received pictures of Modack escorted by bodyguards armed with rifles.
In court papers, Naick said that Modack asked him whether he wanted to lose his and his children’s lives over a R500 000 bill. He took this to be a serious death threat.
Next, he discovered that Modack had reported the car as having been stolen.
“The Ferrari is owned by Nafiz and his mother Ruwayda. Police tried to have the vehicle impounded on the pretext that it was reported stolen. This was an attempt by [the Modacks] to escape their indebtedness to me,” claimed Naick.
On Friday, Modack’s attorney Bruce Hendricks denied that Modack had received more than R1.72-million from Naick since 2017. He said that Modack would settle Naick’s bill for the Ferrari repairs, but he couldn’t say when this would take place. – Logan Govender / TimesLIVE