South Africa

Age of the Assassin: Newsflash

Kinnear suspect, Zane Killian, believed to have played a key role in assassination plot, charged with murder

Charl Kinnear. (Photo: Noor Slamdien)

The addition of murder to the charge sheet that faces former pro rugby player Zane Killian, arrested in connection with the murder of Anti-Gang Unit section head Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear is an indication that Killian’s role is thought to be central to the assassination plot.

Zane Killian, 39, former player for the Falcons and Griquas, is a debt collector who operated a tracking business out of Springs. He briefly appeared under heavy police protection in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 25 September. 

Prosecutor Blaine Lazarus informed the court the accused faced a count of murder, conspiracy to murder and unlawfully intercepting communication. 

According to the charge sheet, Killian unlawfully traced Kinnear’s phone around 20 March until 18 September 2020, the day Kinnear was assassinated around 3pm outside his house at 10 Gearing Road.

Zane  Killian, a 39-year old suspect appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates’ Court in connection with the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear on September 25, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas)

Kinnear’s phone had been tracked until around 3.25pm – at least 25 minutes after he was killed. 

The prosecution will argue that this was to ensure that the hit was carried out, as specified by people who are yet to be identified. Had it not been for Killian’s tracking of Kinnear, the officer might have escaped death.

The challenge for investigators will be to join the dots back to an individual named “Mohamad” who allegedly ordered that Killian trace Kinnear’s device.

Maverick Citizen has managed to piece together, through interviewing several sources, what occurred on the day Kinnear was assassinated.

About 15 minutes before the shooting, a first CCTV camera picked up a person wearing a red and orange colour hoodie jacket and a pair of tracksuit pants, near a corner of Gearing Street, where Kinnear lived.

About three minutes prior to opening fire, the suspect walked casually towards Kinnear’s vehicle before squeezing the trigger, firing point blank at Kinnear’s head.

The residue had left a burn “tattoo” mark on the dead detective’s face.

Further CCTV footage from Kinnear’s own cameras also picked up a person wearing a red and orange colour hoodie jacket. The modus operandi of the triggerman indicates he was a trained assassin.

On Friday, Killian’s legal representative, Eric Bryer, said that an arrest warrant had been issued for his client on Monday, 20 September. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, arrested him that night in Springs.

Eric Bryer, attorney for the 39-year old, Zane Killian who appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate Court in connection with the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear on September 25, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas)

The former rugby professional was taken in for questioning at the Hawks offices in Germiston. There he was interrogated for three hours and held at the Midrand police station before being transferred to Cape Town overnight. Bryer indicated he was ready to apply for bail.

Springs, east of Johannesburg, was one of the last places Kinnear visited a week before his assassination. 

The detective was in the area to continue his ongoing investigation of alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack

Kinnear also investigated eight high-ranking police officers accused of colluding with fellow officers at the Firearm Registry in order to produce firearm licences unlawfully. 

Kinnear was set to arrest two brigadiers in Gauteng in connection with the gun licence racket.

Bryer, a former lawyer for imprisoned Czech crime boss Radovan Krejcir, was himself charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice after becoming personally involved in the kidnapping case of one of his clients. In April 2018, Bryer appeared alongside three other people in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, when asked for comment, said: “The State is going to oppose bail. The accused is facing serious charges, and is accused of killing a policeman.”

The case has been postponed for further investigation until 5 October and the accused will stay in custody at the Bellville police station. DM

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