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Electronic surveillance aided Charl Kinnear’s hitman,...

Maverick Citizen


Electronic surveillance aided Charl Kinnear’s hitman, Zane Kilian hearing is told

Zane Kilian in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

‘Intelligence gathering’ by Charl Kinnear murder accused Zane Kilian made it ‘possible for a designated hitman to be informed, with a high degree of certainty, that his target’s arrival at a predetermined location is imminent’, the State contends.

The State contends that electronic surveillance conducted by murder accused Zane Kilian facilitated the murder of the Anti-Gang Unit’s Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear. It also made it possible for the hitman to know when his target would arrive.

This is contained in the affidavit of Captain Edward du Plessis, attached to the National Priority Violent Crime team in Pretoria, that was read out by State prosecutor advocate Greg Wolmarans in the Bellville Regional Court on Tuesday 2 February. The affidavit of Captain Pieter Joubert from the Hawks was also read into the record.

The State contends that Kilian provided the gunman and those who orchestrated the plot to kill Kinnear with vital information that played a crucial role in Kinnear’s murder on Friday 18 September 2020, in front of his house in Gearing Street, Bishop Lavis in Cape Town.

The affidavits are also part of the State’s arguments in the attempted murder case of criminal lawyer William Booth. Kilian and four others face charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder after a failed attempt on Booth’s life in April 2020 at his Cape Town home.

Du Plessis’s probe into Kinnear’s murder included scrutinising the official downloads of confiscated cellphone handsets, which included a Samsung J4, Samsung A6 and an iPhone of Kilian. Du Plessis determined that Kilian used Marist Consumer Trace Reports to gain access to a credit bureau to get an identity verification report, company details, bond details and the physical address of Kinnear, his wife Nicolette, and that of Booth and his wife.

From the affidavits read into the record by the prosecution it appears that Kilian provided Mr X, whose identity is known to the State, with vital information on the movements of Kinnear and Booth and how long it took them to arrive at home from certain places they visited. 

“I was supplied with an electronic copy of the ping list provided by witness Bradley Goldblatt from the company that Kilian used for the location-based station (LBS) tracking of cellular devices. Analysts utilised by the police were able to extract certain information from the deleted messages on the information of the accused,” Du Plessis said.

He said the modus operandi in the murder of Kinnear and the attempted murder of Booth showed striking similarities. The court heard that Kilian allegedly compiled a report on Kinnear starting on 20 April 2020.

Du Plessis’s affidavit further states that Kilian obtained an identity photo verification of Kinnear at 5.33pm on that date and at 5.42pm got an ID photo of Kinnear’s wife, Nicolette. WhatsApp images were sent on the same day to another WhatsApp user. Kilian also forwarded WhatsApp images of Kinnear’s bond details to a person saved on his phone as XXX.

“It is clear that Kilian intensely researched Lieutenant-Colonel Kinnear and his wife on 20 April 2020. This was also the same day that Kilian started pinging Kinnear and ended up pinging Kinnear on 2,408 occasions until 18 September 2020,” the affidavit read.

The court heard that while Kinnear investigated a gun licence racket in Gauteng from 17 to 27 May 2020, Kilian pinged four cellphones connected to Kinnear. 

“On 17 to 20 May 2020 Kilian knew exactly where Kinnear was. WhatsApp images of conversations between Zane Kilian and a contact contains a Google Map search of the distance between Sandton Times Square and Netcare Sunninghill that was sent to the contact on 20 May 2020,” Du Plessis said.

On the date of Kinnear’s murder his phone was pinged 35 times from 2.32am until 3.25pm. The State contends Kilian ceased pinging Kinnear’s phones approximately 15 minutes after the murder.

“Taking all this in consideration and the fact that the murder of Kinnear happened on 18 September 2020, it is clear that Zane Kilian knew who Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear was at the time of the incident. 

“I submit that the advantage of this ‘intelligence gathering’ is self-evident; it makes it possible for a designated hitman to be informed, with a high degree of certainty, that his target’s arrival at a predetermined location is imminent.

“This allowed the perpetrator an opportunity to fully prepare himself ahead of time and to orchestrate his own timeous approach to the scene of the crime. Zane Kilian performed ‘intelligence gathering’ by the way of electronic surveillance to best facilitate the intended murder of Lieutenant-Colonel Kinnear,” the State contends.

Du Plessis said Kilian delivered information that revealed what time Kinnear arrived at his home and that Kinnear would be seated behind the wheel of his vehicle, an easy target.

Du Plessis found that Kilian compiled a report on murdered Timothy Lotter on 12 November 2019. Lotter was killed on 4 January 2019. Other people who were allegedly pinged included Sameer Vallie on 2 April 2020, alleged 28s gang leader Ralph Stanfield on 19 April 2020, his wife Nicole on 19 April 2020, alleged Sexy Boys leader Jerome “Donkie” Booysen on 3 August 2020, and alleged underworld figure Andre Naude on 11 August 2020.

Joubert’s affidavit said that Kilian’s pinging of Kinnear’s official SAPS cellphone on 18 September 2020 started at 2.32am. He also found that on the day of the attempted hit on Booth in September 2020, Kilian pinged Booth’s cellphone from 3.35am. The shooting occurred at about 7pm and the pinging stopped after 7.45.

Joubert found that a total of R5,251,029 was deposited into one of Kilian’s FNB accounts from 19 June 2019 until 29 September 2020, and that R2,293,463.73 of that amount was deposited from 2 March 2020 until 26 September, the same period Kilian alleged he worked for Mr X.

Opposing bail, the State argued that Kilian had provided contradictory versions to mislead and undermine the investigation and his only source of income is debt collection and the tracking of cellphones.

The advocate appearing for Kilian needed time to peruse the affidavits to compile his heads of arguments, which along with the State’s arguments will be heard on Friday 26 February. DM 


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