Maverick Citizen


SAPS members of rogue Crime Intelligence Division are being protected by the Tactical Response Team

SAPS members of rogue Crime Intelligence Division are being protected by the Tactical Response Team
Suspended SAPS Crime Intelligence head Peter Jacobs. (Tracey Adams / ANA)

The head of Crime Intelligence says that the lives of a brigadier and three captains named in Charl Kinnear’s report are being threatened and that they require 24/7 protection.

While assassinated Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) Section Commander Charl Kinnear was left vulnerable without protection, individuals fingered by Kinnear as being part of a rogue Crime Intelligence Division are being protected by the Tactical Response Team (TRT).

Police union representatives have disclosed to Maverick Citizen that members have been instructed to provide static security and bodyguard protection to members of the alleged rogue Crime Intelligence Division.

In 2019 the national head of Crime Intelligence, Peter Jacobs, recommended to National Commissioner Khehla Sitole that the unit be disbanded and members criminally charged. This was after Kinnear had penned a 59-page complaint detailing its alleged illegal activities.

Static security translates into SAPS members being placed in a structure outside the house of a police officer whose life might be in danger.

Union members said that TRT members had communicated that their protection detail had been given the go-ahead.

The request for protection is contained in a letter dated 2 October 2020 by Major-General Mzwandile Tiyo, the province’s head of Crime Intelligence.

Tiyo, in his letter to the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata, said that the lives of a brigadier and three captains named in Kinnear’s report were being threatened and that they required 24/7 protection. 

This would last until a risk evaluation by a police task team had been completed.

The National Prosecuting Authority, at this stage, has declined to prosecute the members named in Kinnear’s explosive report.

The irony of the application by Tiyo is that it comes weeks after Kinnear’s assassination on 18 September in front of his house at 10 Gearing Road, Bishop Lavis, in Cape Town. 

At the time of his death, police management had been aware of a failed attempt on Kinnear’s life in November 2019 when a suspect was caught with a hand grenade outside his house.

Kinnear’s widow, Nicolette, told Maverick Citizen at the time of his assassination that no police protection had been provided to her husband, despite the threat on his life and the hand grenade incident. 

Protection was provided from November to 19 December 2019 by members of the AGU who felt they had an obligation to support a colleague. In other words, the protection was not formal.

And so one of the country’s most decorated detectives investigating key figures in the underworld and their links to corrupt colleagues was left vulnerable.

And in spite of an investigation ordered by Police Minister Bheki Cele to determine how Kinnear was left vulnerable by the SAPS, no definitive finding has been made as to who was responsible for protecting (or not protecting) Kinnear.

One of Kinnear’s colleagues who had been threatened and whose phone was also tracked several times, threw in the towel in December 2019 after he said he had had enough of the threats and the lack of response from his employer to secure his safety.

The same applied to a former Hawks detective, Warrant Officer Nico Heerschap, whose 74-year-old father, Nico, was killed in an apparent hit outside his Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, home in July 2019. 

Heerschap was shot twice in his vehicle and died on the scene.

At the time of the hit, his son was due to take the stand in a massive car scam case in the Bellville Commercial Court, which involved a prominent member of the underworld.

Ronel Stander, provincial coordinator for Solidarity, said: “We have sent various correspondences asking protection for Heerschap. His life was in danger and after not getting any positive response the member decided to resign.”

A Gauteng officer said police management “did absolutely nothing” to protect him when his secret location was compromised after he had worked closely with Kinnear on a gun-licence racket investigation. 

He had sent several letters to his boss, the officer said, and even after Kinnear’s assassination nothing had been done to protect this police officer.

After men on motorcycles, the preferred mode of transport for Serbian hitmen in South Africa, were seen in the vicinity of the officer’s house still no protection was offered.

Even with alleged hitmen swarming it appears SAPS is caught in the headlights, unable to guarantee the safety of officers involved in sensitive investigations.

Meanwhile, the investigation to solidify the case against Zane Kilian, the man accused of tracking Kinnear’s phone, is gaining momentum.

Investigators have made a turn in Gauteng, considered to be the home of the country’s top communications interceptors.

A former policeman who was part of a platform that provided users, including Kilian and several police officers, with the capacity to carry out “pings” on phones has been arrested.

The ex-policeman is alleged to have pinged the phone of murdered Gauteng doctor Abdulhay Munshi, who was gunned down on 16 September 2020.

Germiston police have applied to access the former policeman’s laptop, phones and bank records to determine who else was tracked.

The State is attempting to solidify its case against Kilian and get those who knew or were aware that Kilian pinged the phones of several people in Gauteng to cooperate and testify against him.

Kilian is also facing counts of conspiracy to commit murder and the illegal interception of communication. He tracked Kinnear’s phone at least 2,116 times.

“I don’t run the platform. I work for a company who is simply a wholesaler of the platform. I cannot give any more information as I am a witness in the Kilian case and have been asked not to speak to the media,” the Gauteng ex-policeman said. DM/MC


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