Pagad says the murder of prominent attorney Noorudien Hassan should spark a broader investigation into corruption in the country’s justice system. Hassan was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Burwood road in Crawford on Monday night and died in hospital. Police are investigating a case of murder, but no arrests have been made.
Hassan was known to have represented many alleged gang and drug dealers and was most part of a team representing Irshaad Laher. The Cape Town businessman faces a raft of charges including racketeering, corruption and money laundering and is accused of selling illegal guns to gangsters on the Cape Flats.
Pagad spokesperson Haroon Orrie refused to speculate on who could be behind Hassan’s murder, but says it points to the dangers of the Cape criminal underworld and the legal minds who take on these cases.
“If we look at the current statistics of the amount of children killed by gang violence or the use of drugs, we must seriously look at the people defending them. That whole chain of defence, from the attorney to the prosecutor to the magistrate is a direct line of corruption. Mr Hassan was a corrupt businessman and he got so many gangsters off the hook,” he alleged.
“Everyone that is in the line of corruption, they must come clean or the community will respond. We will see the domino effect.”
Orrie described Hassan as “no ordinary attorney”, saying he had been friends with some dubious individuals that were well known to the community.
“He is well known to many gangsters and drug dealers in the country. He has been rendering services to these individuals as an attorney but he also had a healthy relationship with many of them. His work relationship ran much deeper than what it seemed,” he said.
Asked if Pagad had ever taken these allegations to the authorities, Orrie said he was sure the police was well aware of his circle of friends. He said Pagad had grown tired of speaking out, as authorities refuse to listen.
While fingers have already been pointed at Pagad, Orrie denied that the organisation could be involved in the hit on Hassan.
“It doesn’t come as any surprise that people would blame us,” he said.
“Whoever is responsible, we will not support it. But we feel it could be someone who is fed-up with what he is doing. If we look at what happened when Mr Irshaad Laher was arrested, people were angry. To think a businessman could be linked to the selling of firearms. And here Mr Hassan defended this individual, so people are naturally angry.”
The organisation has also distanced itself from the Pagad G-force group, who first posted photos of the crime scene on Facebook.
“There are people operating falsely under the Pagad name. They are expelled members of Pagad and have no authority to speak under the Pagad name. The very reason they were expelled is because they extorted money and offered protection to drug-dealers and gangsters.”
Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) cluster chairperson Hanif Loonat urged the police to get to the bottom of the murder.
“It is not fair that we allow these on-going hits on members of the community, innocent or not. If we are going to allow this, it’s going to de-stabilise our communities.” VOC