AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Charl Kinnear murder case: NPA says more suspects will be arrested and charged
Bail was denied to alleged underworld figure Nafiz Modack and his co-accused after the Blue Downs Regional Court found that information in the affidavits of investigating officers probing the 2020 assassination of Anti-Gang Unit cop Charl Kinnear was irrefutable.
Applications for bail by Nafiz Modack, suspected of having orchestrated the murder in Bishop Lavis of Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear in September 2020, and that of his co-accused, former AGU Sergeant Ashley Tabisher and Jacques Cronje, were dismissed by Magistrate Deon van der Spuy in the Blue Downs Regional Court on Wednesday.
This brings an end to eight months of legal wrangling in which five interlocutory applications were heard. This litigation also contributed to delays in the finalisation of the bail applications.
Modack is also accused of orchestrating the attempted hit on Cape Town lawyer William Booth in April 2020 and, with murder co-accused, former debt collector Zain Kilian, is alleged to have pinged the cellphones of Kinnear, Booth, alleged underworld figure Mark Lifman, alleged gang bosses Ralph Stanfield and Colin Booysen, City of Cape Town official JP Smith and several police officials.
Dismissing his bail application, Van der Spuy said: “Modack failed to establish grounds that exceptional circumstances did exist which warrants his release on bail.”
According to the State, the link between Modack and Jacques Cronje dates back to a 2020 extortion case involving a financial adviser. The charges against Cronje include intimidation, kidnapping, extortion, money laundering and malicious damage to property.
Ashley Tabisher faces charges of conducting or participating in the conduct of affairs of an enterprise, gang activity under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, corruption and money laundering.
The corruption and money-laundering charges relate to Tabisher’s alleged relationship with Modack in 2019. The State contends that the former cop agreed to keep Modack informed about any planned raids on his house. For this, he allegedly received payment of R10,000.
Reading his judgment, Van der Spuy said: “The State’s case against the accused is built around the affidavits of the investigating officer. The information contained therein is admissible evidence for the crimes the accused are charged with. The court is also satisfied that the State has a prima facie case against the accused.”
The affidavits of Detective Captain Pieter Joubert, Captain Edward du Plessis, Colonel Eddie Clark and Warrant Officer Trevor Shaw pointed to alleged links between Modack, Tabisher and Cronje.
They also show the roles of the other accused — Zane Kilian, Ricardo Morgan (out on R50,000 bail), Amaal Jantjies and Janick Adonis — in a host of crimes of which they are accused.
Evidence produced by Shaw against Jantjies and Adonis painted a picture of how they allegedly conspired with Modack in November 2019 to kill Kinnear on five occasions, including a failed hand grenade attack at Kinnear’s home on 23 November 2019.
Modack, Tabisher and Cronje were dealt a further blow when Van der Spuy said there was no available date for a pre-trial conference in the Western Cape High Court this year. The matter will in all likelihood be heard only in early 2023, Van der Spuy indicated.
This means the accused, with the exception of Morgan, will remain behind bars until the trial resumes.
The combined indictment will include charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, conspiracy to acquire an explosive and conspiracy to possess explosives, money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, racketeering and more than 2,000 counts relating to the contravention of the Electronic Communications and Transaction Act.
State prosecutor Blaine Lazarus stunned the court when he said more arrests would be made and that the names of the suspects would be added to the charge sheet at the accused’s next appearance on 28 February.
Kinnear’s widow, speaking to the media in the court corridor, said the first hurdle was Kilian’s bail application which began in September 2020 and ended in March 2021.
“The next arrest happened in April 2021. Nine months down the line, it’s been exhausting. We can just come up for air, and then we are going to start again… as you guys know, more arrests will be made.
“It is really Mount Everest that we are climbing, but I’m glad I am through this one… unfortunately we still have a long way to go. Everyone who played a role [in Kinnear’s murder] must be held accountable.”
The seven accused are back in the Blue Downs Regional Court on Monday, 28 February. DM/MC
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