AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Bail applications wrapping up in Cape Town case against alleged underworld cop killers
Two key figures who allegedly conspired with underworld figure Nafiz Modack to murder Anti-Gang Unit cop Charl Kinnear in 2019, have finally joined Modack in the dock.
On Monday, Amaal Jantjies and Janick Adonis, an alleged Junky Funky Kids gang member, appeared alongside Nafiz Modack and co-accused ex-rugby player Zane Kilian, as well as Jacques Cronje, Ricardo Morgan and former Anti-Gang Unit sergeant Ashley Tabisher, in the Blue Downs Regional Court before Magistrate Deon van der Spuy.
It is the first time since the failed attacks on Kinnear in 2019, and his eventual assassination on 18 September 2020 outside his home in Bishop Lavis, that the two appeared alongside Modack in the dock.
The case against Jantjies and Adonis relates to incidents that took place in November 2019, which include a failed hand grenade attack on Kinnear’s home. This matter was dealt with by the Parow Regional Court.
During those earlier proceedings, Adonis abandoned his bail application, while Jantjies’ bail was denied in May 2021. Magistrate Richard Sikhwivhilu concluded then that Jantjies had the ability “to take out witnesses” before the trial commenced.
The court also found Jantjies was familiar with the State witnesses and, given her connections with the underworld, there was a likelihood that she would intimidate or threaten witnesses and destroy evidence.
The court’s decision to deny bail for Jantjies relied heavily on an affidavit by Warrant Officer Trevor Shaw, who maintains that top policeman Kinnear was murdered because of his involvement in an investigation into Modack.
On Monday, prosecutor Blaine Lazarus told the court that Jantjies and Adonis’s appearances were merely for “joint purposes”. The State argued that based on Shaw’s affidavit, it is clear that Jantjies and Adonis should be tried with the other accused.
Modack, Jantjies and Adonis are facing five counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, conspiracy to acquire an explosive, and gang-related offences in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
On the gang-related charges, the State contends that Modack, Jantjies and Adonis performed acts that were aimed at contributing towards a pattern of criminal activity.
The trio is also accused of conspiring with a person known as “AB” to murder Kinnear. This allegedly happened on 17 November 2019 at 10 Gearing Road.
Shaw’s affidavit goes on to say that on 18 November 2019, the trio allegedly conspired with Angelo Yusie to murder Kinnear, and on 16 November 2019, allegedly conspired with a person called Morne to kill Kinnear.
After all these failed attempts, the State argues, on 22 and 23 November 2019 the trio conspired to use a hand grenade in a failed attack on Kinnear’s house.
But it was a large number of damning voice and WhatsApp messages allegedly between Modack and Jantjies that painted a grim picture of how Modack was behind these attempts on Kinnear’s life.
The communications also implicated Tabisher — in recordings played in court, the former policeman could be heard saying that for a fee of R10,000, he would keep Modack informed about any planned raids on his home.
In the earlier hearing in the Parow Regional Court, it was Shaw’s submission in opposing Jantjies’ bail that the communications between Jantjies, Modack and Adonis indicated that Jantjies was involved in the illegal purchase of firearms and ammunition, and that she and Adonis had attempted to purchase a hand grenade, had collected the hand grenade and exchanged it for a firearm.
Shaw’s arguments for opposing bail for Modack included that the grenade attack on Kinnear’s home was of a very serious nature, that Modack was aware Kinnear was investigating him and intended to send a message to Kinnear and other law enforcement that if they dare to investigate Modack, there would be dire personal consequences, and that the communication between Modack, Jantjies and Adonis indicates that Modack allegedly conspired, ordered and funded the attack on Kinnear’s house.
Five attempts on the life of Kinnear, the eventual murder of Kinnear, the failed hit on Cape Town lawyer William Booth in April 2020, fraud, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping and contraventions of the Electronic Communications Act are part of the combined indictment for trial once the bail applications of Modack, Cronje, Kilian and Tabisher have been finalised.
On Monday, Van der Spuy ruled that because Jantjies and Adonis were not part of the bail proceedings in respect of Modack, Cronje, Kilian and Tabisher, they could be excused from the next court appearance.
An application by Modack, Cronje and Kilian to have their cases reopened and to supply the court with additional affidavits, will be heard on Friday, 19 November. Lawyers for Modack, Cronje and Kilian will have to present compelling arguments to convince Van der Spuy to allow their cases to be reopened.
Advocate Bruce Hendricks, appearing for Tabisher, has concluded arguments on why his client should be released on bail and awaits the court’s decision. DM/MC