2 life terms for drug dealer who had community member ‘taken out’ for disrupting his ‘business’

A drug dealer from Clanwilliam has been sentenced in the Western Cape High Court for ordering the hit on a member of the community who he claimed was ‘disrupting’ his business.

Ferlin Arries, 46, a convicted drug dealer, was convicted on charges of incitement to commit murder and the murder of Will-Carl Booysen.

The court heard Arries had ordered a hit on Booysen who he claimed was disrupting his drug business by asking addicts not to buy drugs from him.

State prosecutor Advocate Carl Gertse called several witnesses to testify including the hitman Graham ‘Gummy’ Weber. He testified he was approached by Arries in September 2016, to take someone out who was disturbing him.

The court heard Arries initially approached Richard Fryer asking him to carry out the hit on Booysen. He promised him R13,000 and drugs. Fryer refused and told Booysen of Arries’ plan to assassinate him.

Arries then approached Weber, who resided in Blackheath in Cape Town and promised him R30,000 after the hit. Weber visited Clanwilliam a few times to scout the town and asked one of Arries’ drug dealers, Harwick ‘Chicken’ Scheepers, to identify Booysen and his routes to and from work.

Weber then testified he gave Arries the firearm he brought from Blackheath and that he hid it in a dustbin in the backyard. Weber was handed the firearm on September 29, 2016, the day of the hit.

The following day, Arries had a taxi take Weber back to Cape Town, but they were stopped at a roadblock on the N7.

The court heard that Weber was paralyzed after the police shot him when he jumped out of the vehicle and tried to run away. He was bedridden and this delayed the trial several times.

Weber was sentenced to 24 years direct imprisonment for the murder with five years suspended, as well as 10 years direct imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm, and three years direct imprisonment for possession of ammunition.

He has since received medical parole as he is paralyzed, and his wounds became infected and swollen in prison. He was never paid the R30,000.

Arries’ defence argued for a lesser sentence as he had been in prison for six years and had been diagnosed with cancer. His defence also said that as a father of five children, he was responsible for their financial support.

However, Advocate Gertse argued that Arries had a treatment plan in place, which the prison had proved it could manage effectively in the necessary facilities.

Furthermore, he said the doctors had confirmed that Arries was not in any danger as a result of the cancer.

The court sentenced Arries to two life terms in jail. The sentences will run concurrently. Arries was further declared unfit to possess a firearm.


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