PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) had its twisted and malformed roots in the Cape Flats area in the late 1990’s, where the alleged altruistic local community members decided once and for all to take matters of criminal justice into their own hands – by forming a paramilitary type vigilante operation to take on the plague of gangbangers selling hard drugs in the area. The reason for this was SAPS couldn’t even find a methed-out missing white cat in a bare-leafed tree if it was staring them straight in the bloody face.  

PAGAD implicitly claimed to have good intentions of cleaning up the drug peddling street filth by hunting down the “merchants” (dealers) behind the scenes and, as it happens, the Western Cape SAPS agreed in principle and left them to their own devices, thinking: “laat hulle daai n**iers maar moer” (let them kill those f**kers).   

PAGAD’s big opening night came with a sense of Dantesque fire and brimstone proportions when they arrived unannounced – in a posse of missing-front-teeth-pre-molar-gold-capped enforcers – at the residence of Hard Livings merchant Rashaad Staggie in Salt River, simply to tell him to: “ophou met jou kak maak” (stop your sh!t). One thing led to another – as they say in the private booths of Mavericks strip club – and, before he knew it, Rashaad was assaulted and set on fire. 

“Maak hy nie ‘n lekka vuur nie?” (Doesn’t he make a nice fire?).

The question in criminal law when you employ the legal defence of self-defence is – at what point does the victim then become the aggressor, and I agree fully with SAPS on this score that PAGAD did this at their very first live gig. 

Catapulted into the international spotlight, PAGAD quickly shed its baby fat to reveal what it really was all along – an underground fundamentalist Muslim organisation courting bedfellows in the form of a local radical Islamic group called Qibla to reveal a proper diabolical agenda. 

In a scene straight out of a Netflix Genghis Khan feature film fictionalisation, with the director having been up for five sleepless crack cocaine fuelled nights just to be done with the freakshow’s filming, PAGAD then became the avatar of savagery and barbarism by cowardly unleashing itself full-on into urban warfare against an innocent and unsuspecting Cape Town civilian population. Under their bomb strapped belts they racked up a total of nine bombings which targeted: gangbangers; synagogues; gay nightclubs; tourist attractions and US themed restaurants, the most popular of which was the bombing of V&A based Planet Hollywood which left two dead and twenty six injured; Cape Town Magistrate Pieter Theron, who was presiding over a PAGAD trial, met his maker in a hail of high velocity bullets while driving his car; a Jewish bookshop was bombed; PAGAD critic and University of Cape Town academic Ebrahim Moosa decided to make a new sort of haj to the USA after his house was bombed. The final act by PAGAD was the unceremonious 2002 bombing of Bishop Lavis SAPS office of the Serious Crimes Unit. 

In the final analysis of the situation, some twenty years later, the question still remains who the marionette puppeteer was pulling the strings behind the scenes – was it to be a plain and simple drug-turf battle between two opposing groups, where one group conveniently dressed itself up as a Muslim fundamentalist organisation? Where the cops themselves were involved? Money was no doubt the prize to be fought over and won. 

According to a Global Organised Crime thinktank website, the value of the Western Cape’s cocaine, heroin, meth, MDMA and dagga market in 2022 is worth some R 25BN per annum. For that amount of money, I’d say everyone was involved.     

In this new era of the post-covid-topia woke-brigade, I really cannot say anything that offends groups such as the trans movement, #BLM, and #MeToo; I cannot spread any misinformation or disinformation about covid treatments; and I must align myself with the USA, EU and UK against uber war-mongering gangstas such as Putin and Xi Jinping. 

So, with all that in mind, I am thinking of forming a new group called JAPAGAD – Jews against People Against Gangsterism and Drugs.  Our founding members will be a group of peaceful Jewish landlords whose only wish is to have their tenants pay their rents in full and on time each and every month; a Jew friendly Western Cape High Court judge who feels the pain of the Jewish landlord and who orders immediate eviction in each and every lawsuit; and a Jew friendly sheriff who hands out hot pastrami on rye sandwiches on eviction day to all evictees. 

Or perhaps I am asking too much?

Contributed by:
Barry Varkel, an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
Author of Nigiri Law and Goy Vey


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