Issa murder probe hots up

Date: 17 Oct 2013
THE POLICE in Gauteng said yesterday they had intensified the investigation into the killing of Bassam Issa, who was gunned down in Bedfordview on Saturday. Spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said police had received information from members of the public, including possible witnesses. Issa had stopped at a traffic light in his car, an Audi Q7, when a white Ford Ranger approached and its occupants shot at him with AK-47 and R5 rifles, said Malila. More than 30 spent rounds were found on the scene. “Various items, including a .38 revolver, 9mm rounds and a silencer, were found in the victim’s vehicle as well as four cellphones,” said Malila. “The motive for the killings is unknown at this stage and a case of murder is being investigated by a provincial multidisciplinary team.” He said allegations that the suspects used a police-issued firearm and had blue lights flashing when they fled the scene were being investigated. Meanwhile, gang members have warned of a turf war in and around Joburg that could see more dramatic shootouts in the area. The Sunday Independent reported that Cape Town leaders of the Sexy Boys gang had moved into Bedfordview. The newspaper linked Issa, also known as “Black Sam”, to the murder of Leon Davids, a member of the gang. Davids was in witness protection and was assisting the police with their investigations into the murder of bouncer boss Cyril Beeka, who was killed in a driveby shooting in Cape Town in 2011. Gang members confirmed that they were moving into greater Joburg, saying Cape Town gang leaders were targeting Bedfordview and Sandton in order to show their power. One man said Issa’s murder was meant as more of a message to other gang leaders than anything else. Forensic crimes investigator Chad Thomas said Cape Town gangsters moving to Joburg could be a show of muscle. However, he said it would be difficult for Cape Town gangs to establish themselves, as local criminal enterprises across Gauteng were already operating. By Angelique Serrao - angelique.serrao@inl.co.za The Star 17/10/13 Early Edition