Speculation is rife that a gangland hit was behind the execution-style murder yesterday of one of the country’s best known criminal lawyers, notes Legalbrief. Attorney Pete Mihalik was killed in what witnesses described as an execution outside Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard in Green Point, Cape Town, when dropping off his son at school. An arrest has been made, with police confirming that ‘a suspect is being questioned by detectives ... (from) the anti-gang unit’.

Mihalik’s eight-year-old son was injured in the shooting and was taken to hospital where he was treated for a bullet graze. His daughter was unhurt. Sources said Mihalik had bodyguards but ‘the shooter went up to the car window and just killed him’, according to Business Day.

An eyewitness said he heard two gunshots and saw a silver-grey vehicle with GP number plates speed away from the scene.

‘One man was in the vehicle as the other came running back. He got in as the car screeched away from the scene‚’ said the man. Mihalik’s clients include some of Cape Town’s leading alleged gangsters.

His father‚ Janos‚ said: ‘Pete represented many a gangster. I think it (the shooting) has something to do with that.’

Leading Cape Town defence attorney William Booth said: ‘I’m devastated. I’ve known (Mihalik) for many years‚ actually since he was a public prosecutor at Wynberg. It’s very sad‚ especially for his children.

Full Business Day report

It is being speculated that the killing could be connected to the trial of alleged extortion syndicate boss Nafiz Modack‚ scheduled for the Cape Town Regional Court next week, notes a TimesLIVE report. Mihalik led several other lawyers representing Modack's four co-accused – Colin Booysen‚ brother of alleged Sexy Boys boss Jerome (Donkie) Booysen‚ Ashley Fields‚ Jacques Cronje and Carl Lakay – when they accused the police of corruption during a bail hearing earlier this year.

They tried to implicate investigating officers under the command of Major-General Jeremy Vearey in working with alleged mafioso Mark Lifman.

The investigating officer in the case‚ Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear‚ denied that an interview he had with Lifman in Sea Point over a crimen injuria case against Cronje was evidence for collaboration.

Mihalik withdrew from the case and handed the reins to his partner‚ Bruce Hendricks‚ after he was accused of brokering extortion deals involving rich Jewish businessmen in Cape Town.

He denied the claim and prosecutor Esna Erasmus told the court the allegation was not admissible and irrelevant to the proceedings at the time. Mihalik alleged that the extortion case was an extension of a war over nightclub security which has seen numerous hits and shootings since 2016.

Lakay was shot in a hit outside his house in Goodwood in August. His shooting came shortly after ‘Donkie’ Booysen was shot and injured in a Spur in Kuils River‚ sparking battles between gangs on the Cape Flats. A few weeks later Fields' brother was shot while driving his BMW with his daughter in Salt River.

Colin Booysen was also allegedly targeted in a hit in Belhar last month‚ an incident which resulted in the alleged gunman being killed and Booysen being charged with murder.

Full TimesLIVE report