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Lambe did not have enough time to reach for his own gun before being shot dead

The man shot dead in brazen daylight at the popular Tasha’s Restaurant, Rosebank Zone in Johannesburg last Thursday, 9 June 2022, was involved in the local cannabis industry. He has been named as 42 year-old Jason Lambe, a resident of the UAE with a South African driver’s license, who travelled frequently between Dubai and SA. He financed at least two local minor cannabis ventures, but has obviously has amassed a considerable fortune elsewhere.


Little is known of South African-born Lamb’s business interests either here or abroad. However, other than he has been in South Africa only for about three months over the past three years. What is known is that he was named in the 2021 Panama Papers leak as a man operating in highly secretive financial jurisdictions with banks that deal with only high net-worth individuals. He is listed as the director and/or legal representative of at least six Malta-based shell companies, who’s business dealings are not disclosed. The Panama Papers exposed several international companies as using jurisdictions such as Malta, Panama, the British Virgin Islands to launder money because of their highly confidential banking rules.

Lambe did not have enough time to reach for his own gun before being shot dead

Lambe was waiting for breakfast at around 10am at Tasha’s last Thursday with two unknown men who appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin. The three were accosted by two masked assailants who walked into the restaurant and shot Lambe several times at point blank range. He died instantly in front of horrified late-breakfast diners who scattered into the surrounding mall.


Police told TimesLive that Lambe “himself was armed, but did not have the time or opportunity to draw his own weapon. When the two murderers started shooting, the other two men [having breakfast with Lambe] fled the scene. With them running we had very little to go on but we have information that those two and the two attackers are of Arabic descent.”

Local partner shocked: local cannabis interests too small to justify daylight shooting

Lambe’s murder came as a complete surprise to his local business partner and “decades-long friend”, Vijay Ghanshamdas, with whom he had interests in the South African cannabis industry.


A shocked Ghanshamdas told TimesLive that the two had interests in two cannabis businesses, which Lambe had financed. They had currently been supplying the hydroponic cannabis industry with equipment.


“We sold grow lights and grow tents to retailers. So we had no contact with any customers in the growing trade. Even this business is too small for someone to want to commit murder. Our turnover hovered between R200,000 and R300,000 a month.


He said the two had previously been co-directors at MJ Impex, a mall kiosk business selling  vapes, but that had gone under.

“We had kiosks in three malls selling vapes and vaping products. The business failed, but it was so small we were left with only about R200,000 to R300,000 worth of stock to sell off,” said Ghanshamdas.


“Jason never had anything to do with the money or day-to-day management of businesses he invested in. Why would anyone want to murder him? This has to be for some kind of personal reason or a deal or business that I did not know about. I know he was also involved in some property deals, but I don’t have more details.”


“I have known Jason for 20 years. As far as I know, no business that he was involved in had the kind of turnover that could cause a murder like this,” said Ghanshamdas.


“This is insanity. How is it possible that gunmen can walk into an eatery in one of the busiest areas of Johannesburg in broad daylight and do this and get away? There must be hundreds of cameras in that area.”

Ghanshamdas: more questions than answers around the motive

A police source close to the investigation told TimesLIVE a possible motive was starting to take shape and that it pointed to a hit.


“Investigators are looking into information that the deceased was a witness to a violent crime in the past. It is unclear if this incident took place in SA or abroad but the investigation is still in a very early stage.”


But Ghanshamdas said he found that hard to believe.

“There is almost no violent crime in the UAE, so it would have had to have happened here. If Jason witnessed something like that in South Africa he would have mentioned something, even in passing.”


He said he had no idea of any possible motive and that the shooting raised more questions than answers.

Police spokesperson Dimakatso Sello said that a case of murder had been opened: “The motive of the murder is unknown at this stage. The police appeal to anyone who may have information that can assist with the investigation to please contact the Crime Stop line at 08600 10111 or anonymously report tip-offs on MySAPS app.”

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Tasha’s Shooting: the Mysterious Mr Lambe Was Involved in Supplying SA Cannabis Industry at the Time of His Murder

Tasha’s Shooting: the Mysterious Mr Lambe Was Involved in Supplying SA Cannabis Industry at the Time of His Murder

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