Ernest “Ernie Lastig” Solomon, a former chief of the 28s gang and whose identify was extra just lately linked to the Horrible Josters gang, was one thing of a chameleon, apparently making an attempt to shed the picture of gang boss by reinventing himself as a peacemaker and musician. However now his identify is on a rising listing of murders linked to organised crime and high-level investigations into them.
Former 28s gang boss Ernest “Ernie Lastig” Solomon, whose identify was beforehand linked to the perlemoen commerce and different suspected crimes, was murdered in Boksburg, Gauteng on Friday greater than six months after he was wounded in a capturing within the fishing village of Hawston within the Western Cape.
Sources stated his homicide was inevitable as his identify had for months been surfacing in issues regarding doubtful actions, together with a large court docket case centred round his nephew Horatio “Voudie” Solomon, who was accused of crimes together with homicide and of being the chief of the Terrible Josters gang. The State believes this gang is deeply concerned within the tik and mandrax commerce.
“It was sure to finish this fashion,” a supply stated, referring to Solomon’s homicide.
One other stated a number of gang members nonetheless referred to him as “the beginning of the number and the end of the number” (referring to the numbers gangs) and “Quantity One”.
There have been fears Solomon’s homicide would spark retaliatory assaults or trigger gangs to reconfigure, which might then trigger friction amongst rival teams.
Horatio Solomon – who was wounded and his 13-year-old daughter killed in a capturing in March this yr – was sentenced to life imprisonment within the Western Cape Excessive Courtroom in October.
Solomons and a son had been wounded in a capturing in Hawston, roughly two months after Horatio was wounded, in Might this yr – this was believed to have been a result of friction inside the Horrible Josters gang.
“The Horrible Josters are consistently engaged in gang wars within the areas the place drug-dealing operations happen and as soon as opposing gangs are annihilated or give up, remaining rival gang members are included into the gang after which add the ‘Horrible’ prefix to their gang identify,” court docket papers regarding Horatio Solomon’s case learn.
“With the intention to safeguard their pursuits, the gang, by way of its members, will possess and use unlawful firearms, commit homicide or tried homicide and acts of intimidation towards witnesses, who could also be rival gang members or bizarre members of the group.”
Ernie Solomon’s homicide comes two months after Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear of the Anti-Gang Unit was assassinated exterior his dwelling within the suburb of Bishop Lavis (an space broadly identified to be 28s gang turf) in Cape City – a killing which has churned up suspicions of entrenched corruption amongst police and their suspected hyperlinks to underworld figures.
It additionally marks almost a yr since one other senior determine on Cape City’s gang panorama, former Arduous Livings chief Rashied Staggie, was shot useless within the Cape City suburb of Salt River in December 2019.
On the time rumours had surfaced that Solomon, or somebody near him, could have had a hand in Staggie’s killing.
However Solomon was not charged for the killing. Different theories for Staggie’s killing included that he could have someway received on the incorrect aspect of extra junior gangsters who wished to show older figures a lesson – that they had been not in management.
It’s not but clear who was behind Solomon’s homicide.
On Friday police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele, with out offering any names, stated that one particular person had been killed and three others, together with a baby, wounded in a capturing that had occurred throughout the morning in Boksburg.
4 suspects had been believed to have been concerned.
“It’s reported white Ford Ranger bumped and intercepted a white BMW with 4 occupants inside. Two armed males allegedly alighted from the Ford Ranger and began capturing on the automotive,” Makhubele stated.
“The suspects allegedly then deserted the Ford Ranger on the scene and fled in a getaway automotive with unknown description and unknown registration quantity.”
Solomon has been carefully linked to organised crime and gangsterism.
Within the mid-1990s he was among a group that started the controversial grouping Community Outreach, higher referred to as Core, in Cape City, a now-defunct organisation ostensibly geared toward stunting gangsterism however which some later pointed to as a smokescreen for crime.
Others concerned in Core had included Rashied Staggie and brothers Michael and Jerome “Donkie” Booysen (who was shot at and wounded a number of instances between 2017 and 2018 in Cape City).
In 2003, police labelled Solomon, who at one stage confronted prices together with the possession of unlicenced firearms, a high-flyer.
However a number of years later, round 2011, Solomon apparently tried to shed this picture by as an alternative making an attempt to stop crimes – he had been concerned in so-called peace talks to attempt to name a truce between warring gangs in Cape City. The town’s mayor, Dan Plato, then the group security MEC, was concerned in a few of these processes.
Then in 2013, Solomon was the main target of a movie, A Fortunate Man, about his life, and within the following years, dabbled in music and launched a number of albums. About two years later he was reported to be a Khoi chief.
However extra just lately his identify had been as soon as once more linked to extra sinister points.
It was beforehand reported that within the case towards Horatio Solomon, which was heard within the Western Cape Excessive Courtroom in 2019 and this yr, a witness had claimed that Solomon had ordered the 2013 assassination of Leon Davids in retaliation for the killing underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka.
Beeka was murdered in successful within the Cape City suburb of Bellville South in March 2011.
It was broadly suspected that Davids had pulled the set off on Beeka.
Within the State’s abstract of details towards Horatio Solomon, it was additional claimed the Horrible Josters gang was concerned in Davids’ assassination.
It was alleged that an accused within the Horrible Josters case, targeted on Horatio Solomon, had contacted a State witness “and knowledgeable him that he obtained an instruction that Leon Davids (alias Leontjie) have to be killed”.
“The rationale that Leontjie have to be killed was as a result of he and one other particular person had murdered Cyril Beeka who was linked to their prime chief and had fed him data on a competing gang chief,” the State witness had allegedly been instructed.
Nonetheless, the State witness and an affiliate had not managed to hold out the killing as a result of Davids was not the place they thought he could be – a braai within the suburb of Belhar.
It was claimed “the mission” to homicide Davids was allegedly as an alternative given to Horatio Solomon.
Davids was killed on 9 October 2013, however no arrests had been ever formally introduced for this homicide.
If Davids had certainly murdered Beeka, it meant a possible star State witness (had he determined to show and testify for the State within the case, as was rumoured had been the case earlier than his killing) had been assassinated.
On a Fb web page showing to be that of Ernest Solomon, a quote was posted on Thursday.
It stated (translated from Afrikaans): “If I take a look at my life immediately, the place I used to be, the place I’m now, what I went by way of… I consider it was simply grace, Amen thanks Lord.” DM