22 July 2024 | 03:51 AM

Booze and bullets: Lolly’s last night on Earth

Key Takeaways

The last hours of Lolly Jackson’s life involved a booze-fuelled meeting with his alleged killer, George Smith, which ended in bullets and tears. Twenty minutes after Smith apparently shot the strip-club kingpin, he called the head of crime intelligence in Gauteng, Major-General Joey Mabasa, sobbing.

A source close to the investigation said that Smith called Mabasa’s cellphone sounding either drunk or high on drugs and said: “I have done something very bad.”

Smith apparently told Mabasa that he had been at a meeting with Jackson at the house where Smith was living in Edenvale, which belonged to Greek businessman Georgios Toumbis.

Mabasa and Smith then allegedly agreed to meet at the Bedford Centre in Bedfordview, but Mabasa, who first had to organise backup to accompany him, was delayed.

People who were at the shopping centre on Monday night have given varying reports of what happened.

One source said Smith was at the Harbour Fish and Meat Market waiting for the police to come and pick him up, before changing his mind and fleeing.

The manager of the restaurant — who was phoned at a number that Smith also has registered as his place of employment — said: “Smith was a clown and a criminal. He used to hang out here. He came in on Monday and bought two packets of cigarettes and left.”

When the police arrived at the agreed meeting place — one of the entrances to the centre — Smith was nowhere to be found.

The source said they then went to the Harbour restaurant “because we know a lot of Greeks hang out there”. They asked whether anyone had seen Smith and finally found a teenager who showed them to the house where Smith was living.

The police did not know this was also the murder scene.

Another source said that they couldn’t enter the house without the owner’s permission. They waited an hour for the owner to arrive and, on entering, saw Jackson’s body, half a bottle of whisky and two empty glasses on the table.

“It was clear that they had had a conversation before the fall-out,” said the source. They also found 9mm cartridges in the room.

Mabasa said that the reason Smith had called him was because he had been a police informant on money laundering three years ago. But this had come to an end when the police allegedly found out that Smith was a drug abuser.

“I don’t know why he called me,” Mabasa said. “I couldn’t even remember who he was.”

Smith is on the run but Tracker has located his car in Durban.

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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