South Africa

Underworld Hits Back

Fear grips Anti-Gang Unit members and Cape Town suburb of Bishop Lavis after top detective murdered outside his home

Fear grips Anti-Gang Unit members and Cape Town suburb of Bishop Lavis after top detective murdered outside his home
Charl Kinnear (Photo by Noor Slamdien)

Top Anti-Gang Unit Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear, who was at the helm of an investigation into underworld figure Nafiz Modack and ten others suspected of gun-related charges, was assassinated in front of his home on Friday, 18 September.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear was shot at close range through the window of his car when he arrived at his Bishop Lavis home on Friday. He died on the scene. 

The alleged hitman waited for Kinnear to pull up in front of his house at 10 Gearing Road, Bishop Lavis. 

His death has sent shockwaves not just through the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) but the entire police force. Members said if criminals could do this to Kinnear “they can do it to any police officer”.

Residents fearing reprisal attacks were too afraid to comment. The street rule in Bishop Lavis, residents said, was “you look the other way” because if those behind the assassination learned that someone had spoken to investigators “that person or a family will be taken out”.

In November 2019 police members were placed at Kinnear’s home after two suspects were caught in possession of a hand grenade outside the house.

Investigators revealed the suspects were about to hurl the grenade into Kinnear’s house. A third suspect was arrested later and the matter was set down on the Parow Court roll for October 2020.

However, this police protection was withdrawn in December 2019 and according to Kinnear’s wife, Nicolette, SAPS had not provided any reasons for the decision.

Their lives remained in constant danger until the threat to kill Kinnear was carried out on Friday, 18 September 2020.

The scene outside the Bishop Lavis home of high profile police investigator Colonel Charl Kinnear who was gunned down in his car shortly after 3 pm on September 18, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole confirmed that Kinnear was gunned down shortly after 3pm outside his house adding the details surrounding his killing “are still very vague at this stage”.

A devastated Nicolette said: 

“Where were the police when we needed them? Why do they all rock up now when he was killed?

“On Wednesday night unknown persons watched our house. I was alone at home with my children while my husband was in Gauteng.”

At the time of his murder, Kinnear was spearheading the investigation into Modack and ten former and current SAPS officers on suspicion of gun-related charges. 

Modack, along with eight high-ranking police officers, two former officers, as well as other underworld figures and gun dealers, were arrested on 16 June 2020, and had already appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court. 

They are accused of colluding with officers at the Central Firearm Registry (CFR) in order to produce firearm licences unlawfully. 

An AGU member in Gauteng, who has been working closely with Kinnear on the Modack case, believes his colleague was taken out by underworld figures in Cape Town. 

He added that the involvement of corrupt police officers who played a role in the execution of Kinnear’s dead could not be excluded.

“On Monday, 21 September, Kinnear was supposed to be in Gauteng to assist me in arresting two brigadiers linked to the gun-related racket relating to Modack. 

“I believe the reason why Kinnear was killed was because I handed him two vital dockets of a prominent underworld figure linked to extortion cases in Gauteng. The dockets would have helped Kinnear (in) building a water tight case against the underworld figure.”

The one case, said Kinnear’s colleague, related to businesses owned by the late underworld kingpin, Cyril Beeka, who was gunned down on March 21, 2011. 

“This file I handed to Kinnear. The second matter involved the same underworld person who in March 2020 allegedly extorted R5-million from a Randburg businessman,” he said.

This fellow officer also fears for his life now and said the hit on Kinnear had “sent shivers” down his spine and that he was afraid that he or a family member would be “taken out”. 

“Over the weekend I was in Drakenstein Correctional Centre when an inmate called Stampie told me that a prisoner was ordered to kill me,” said the AGU member.

“I know that I’m next on the list because of the investigations I did with Kinnear into allegations against Modack and prominent police officers. I’ve informed Crime Intelligences who are investigating the threat (to my) life,” he added.

This officer has been at the forefront of investigation into the underworld figures in Gauteng following its tentacles to Cape Town and Serbian hits carried out in Gauteng.  

The officer said he would now be relocated for safety purposes.

Kinnear, along with an AGU team led by Major-General Andre Lincoln, also investigated a case of extortion against Modack, Colin Booysen, Ashley Field and Jacques Cronje last year. 

They men were accused of belonging to an alleged racket targeting the nightclub, restaurant and security industry in Cape Town. However, they were all acquitted. 

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato, condemning the murder, said he hoped the provincial police commissioner as well as the Hawks and the National Police Management would “leave no stone unturned to catch the killers and anyone else involved.”

Sitole has meanwhile tasked the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata to put in place a 72-hour Activation Plan consisting of crime intelligence, forensic experts, the Hawks and tactical units to meticulously investigate this murder and to ensure the culprits are arrested.

“We are all saddened by this tragic untimely loss of Kinnear and his murder is a huge loss to South Africa and its people. The South African Police Services will not rest until those responsible for his murder are brought to book,” Sitole added. DM


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