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AGE OF THE ASSASSIN

Lawyer warned me not to implicate Modack in Kinnear’s murder, Zane Kilian claims in latest bail bid

Lawyer warned me not to implicate Modack in Kinnear’s murder, Zane Kilian claims in latest bail bid
Murder accused Zane Kilian. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Murder accused Zane Kilian has told the Western Cape Division of the High Court that a lawyer warned him that if he implicated alleged gang boss Nafiz Modack in Anti-Gang Unit Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear’s assassination, ‘myself and my family might as well pick out our coffins’.

Former debt collector Zane Kilian submitted a 20-page affidavit with 218 annexures in the Western Cape Division of the High Court on Monday that makes sensational claims in support of his latest bail application. 

Kilian and alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack are the main accused in the murder of Anti-Gang Unit Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear on 18 September 2020. They have also been charged with attempting to murder lawyer William Booth on 9 April 2020.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Gang leader charged alongside Nafiz Modack over attempted murder of lawyer William Booth

Modack, Kilian and 12 other co-accused face more than 3,100 charges in a case which depicts Modack as the leader of a lucrative criminal organisation: the “Modack Enterprise”.

The other co-accused are Terrible West Siders gang members Ziyaad Poole, Moegamat Toufeeq Brown, Riyaad Gesant, Fahmeed Kelly and Marco Petersen; former Anti-Gang Unit Sergeant Ashley Tabisher; Junky Funky Kids gang member Janick Adonis; and Jacques Cronje, Petrus Visser, Amaal Jantjies, Yaaseen Modack, Mogamat Adiel Mukudam and Ricardo Anthony Morgan.

During his first bail application in November 2020, Kilian submitted an affidavit in which he said he intended to plead not guilty to all charges and argued that all that linked him to Kinnear’s murder was that he had “pinged” Kinnear’s cellphone to locate him.

Bail was denied. Kilian then approached the Western Cape Division of the High Court to appeal against the decision. That application was also dismissed.

On Monday, State prosecutor Greg Wolmarans told Judge Mark Sher that Kilian’s fresh bail application should include new facts and not be a rehash of previous information already read into the record.

Kilian again said that he was going to plead not guilty.

‘Christmas came early’

In his affidavit, he testified that immediately after Kinnear’s murder, he received a voice note from Renier van der Vyver, supposedly a close acquaintance of Modack, saying, “Kinnear is dead. Christmas came early.” 

According to Kilian, this was followed by a phone call from Ziyaad Poole, allegedly Modack’s right-hand man, instructing him to dispose of his cellphones and warning him, “if I do not cooperate, they will come and fetch my cellphones”.

“I did not destroy my cellular phones but handed them over to the South African Police Service two days later, 20 September 2021, when the Hawks came to search my house.

“It was at that stage that I contacted Modack, who told me to contact attorney Eric Bryer. I had no previous dealings with Bryer, but knew that he was an attorney of Modack,” Kilian claimed in his affidavit.

The court heard that Kilian then received a message from Bryer which read: “Dont [sic] say anything”.  

“Later I had a WhatsApp conversation with Bryer who requested me to cover myself, him/Bryer and Modack. I understood this to mean that I should not implicate Modack in the pinging of Kinnear.

“I can recall that at some stage thereafter Bryer informed me via WhatsApp that if I implicate Modack that he/Bryer, myself and my family might as well pick out our coffins,” Kilian said. 

He told the court that Bryer told him, allegedly on behalf of Modack, to tell the police that a “Mr Mohammed” had asked him to track Kinnear’s phone. 

“That was the version that I provided to the South African Police on the advice of Bryer,” he said, adding that he feared for his life and the lives of his family.

“This was a total lie. Later I told the police … the true identity of the person who requested me to ping Kinnear’s cellphone number was Modack. I never referred to Modack as Mr X,” he claimed.

Bryer told Daily Maverick on Monday night that he would not comment on Kilian’s claims but would answer if the State summoned him to testify.

Before his arrest, Kilian had his own business, Zane Kilian Tracking and Investigation, and derived an income from the repossession of motor vehicles and the tracing of people to collect outstanding debts.

Targeted for a ‘hit’

According to Kilian, Modack directed him to acquire information about Kinnear. Kilian said that Modack informed him that Kinnear was a dishonest police officer to whom he had paid money, that Kinnear and alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome “Donkie” Booysen had colluded, and that Modack was being targeted for a “hit”.

“On the day of the shooting of Kinnear, which I now know was 18 September 2020, Modack asked me to ping Kinnear’s cellphone number during the course of the day. The requests from Modack stopped at about 15h25, which was the last ping of Kinnear’s cellphone number on that day,” Kilian said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Bail application for the accused in top cop Charl Kinnear’s murder delayed until February 2021

“All pings on Booth were on the request of Modack. He told me that Booth was an attorney who owed money to a client. There was nothing strange with the explanation. I was not aware that an assassination of Booth was planned. I do not know any of the co-accused in the Booth matter.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Zane Kilian spent R1.5-million on alleged phone pings to lawyers, members of the underworld, court hears

Kilian said Modack asked him to ping Kinnear and Booysen’s cellphones at the same time to see whether they were in the same place. 

He testified that the findings showed that Kinnear and Booysen’s cellphones were in the same place on numerous occasions, lending support to Modack’s belief that they were conspiring to kill him.

“On one occasion that I pinged Kinnear and Booysen’s cellphone numbers, on Modack’s instructions, the result reflected that they were in the same vicinity/location in Johannesburg,” he told the court.

Kilian’s relationship with Modack

Kilian said he learnt of Modack from Gerhard Strydom, another debt collector who called him and informed him that Modack had heard of his success as a debt collector and wanted to hire him.

“I did debt collecting work for Modack as well as ‘pings’ on his request to trace people for various reasons. I confirm that I did receive money from various clients for services rendered.

“I have no other connection to Modack, other than the fact that he was a client of my firm and that I pinged cellular numbers on his request for compensation in terms of a business relationship. Modack further informed me that the people to whom these cell numbers belong wanted to kill him, and he needed to know where they were so that he knew which area to avoid,” his affidavit reads.

Kilian claimed that other people had used the same platform he used to track Kinnear and Booth’s phones. 

His bail application will continue on Tuesday. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Bonga Siyothula says:

    At last I feel like SAPS and the NPA is finally making progress and awakening from its slumber when it comes to these violent crime cases. Killian finally coming clean in this case is massive progress and me thinks he might even get a plea deal that will finally sink Nafiz Modack. The other case I have been observing with interest is the assassination of Loyiso Nkohla, and SAPS is making progress there as well. They have arrested the 4th shooter. In the Fort Hare University assassination case accused are in the dock with what appears to be a strong case. Last week the Cape Division of the High Court convicted the shooters in one of Khayelitsha recent mass shooting cases. I await the Yanga Bara Nyalara case with abated breath. The assassins in the Pete Mihalik case were convicted and sentenced to heavy jail sentences. The killers in the David Mbazwana case are on trial and are likely to be convicted as well as the state appears to have a strong case there as well. I look foward to the Kinnear assassination case next year as well. I hope I don’t jinx it by praising the system a little….

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Scorpions disbanded,snakes allowed to proliferate via ANC goverment,citizens should sue goverment

  • Barry Tyson says:

    I find it unbelievable that Kilian can claim that he did not know that the ‘pinging’ work he was doing for Modack was being used for nefarious purposes. After all, he admits to ‘pinging’ William Booth’s cellphone – who was attacked a number of times – the last of which included 5 rounds being fired at Booth on 9 April 2020. This attempted hit was all over the news – but incredibly Kilian heard nothing about it and admits to ‘pinging’ a policeman who was ulitmately murdered 6 months later. Something does not add up.

  • Elise Levendal says:

    I must agree that it is refreshing to read about the progress with these high profile cases. it could lead to some hope and trust in the SAPS and the judicial system, for the victims of all crimes.

  • Clive Seete Malumise says:

    What worries is that this involve high profile people and high ranks police’s so then it affects the innocent family members that knew nothing but on the other side those names that were mentioned wife’s and children are part of crime syndicates. So the justice delay is the justice deny. Western Cape is a province dealing with gang related matters.

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