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Kilian knew Kinnear was a cop, ‘pinging’ had nothing to do with debt collection, court hears

Kilian knew Kinnear was a cop, ‘pinging’ had nothing to do with debt collection, court hears
Zane Kilian in the Western Cape High Court on 7 May 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Theo Jeptha)

Greg Wolmarans, the prosecutor in the trial of Zane Kilian, Nafiz Modack and 13 others, has told the Cape High Court that Kilian knew he was ‘dealing with a police member. There is nothing in this trace reporting to give the indication that this is repossession of anything, much less a vehicle.’

On 20 April 2020, murder accused Zane Kilian, then a debt collector, obtained a Consumer Trace Report — used to establish debt and credit records — on the Anti-Gang Unit’s Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, which revealed that Kinnear was a police officer.

This was the gist of Hawks Captain Edward du Plessis’ recent testimony in the Western Cape High Court. He explained that Kilian tracked Kinnear’s cellphone and used the MarisIT system to gain access to his personal information. That information included his home and work addresses, employment history, banking information, bond account number and which bank held the bond.

Du Plessis began his testimony on Tuesday and will continue on Thursday before Judge Robert Henney. Du Plessis is a member of the national task team that investigated the murder of Kinnear.

Kilian and underworld figure Nafiz Modack are the main accused in the assassination of Kinnear in front of his Cape Town home on 18 September 2020 and of the attempted murder of the lawyer William Booth in Cape Town on 9 April 2020.

Kilian has admitted to “pinging” Kinnear’s cellphone to trace his location, and claims he did so at the behest of Modack.  

Last week, the court heard testimony from former police officer Bradley Goldblatt that he sold bundles of 50 pings for R2,100 per month to Kilian. He also admitted to selling the MarisIT system to Kilian for R5,000.    

Read more in Daily Maverick: Hawks were monitoring pinging of Kinnear’s phone when he was assassinated, court hears

Modack and Kilian, along with 13 co-accused, are collectively facing 124 charges including murder, attempted murder, corruption, gangsterism, extortion, the illegal interception of communications, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The other accused are Jacques Cronje, Ziyaad Poole, Moegamat Brown, Riyaat Gesant, Fagmeed Kelly, Mario Petersen, Petrus Visser, Janick Adonis, Amaal Jantjies, former Anti-Gang Unit Sergeant Ashley Tabisher, Yaseen Modack, Mogamat Mukudam and Ricardo Morgan.

55,000 pings

During Du Plessis’ two-day testimony, the court was told that Kilian carried out 5,307 pings between 2019 and 2020. During the same period, 55,000 pings were carried out across SA.  

Du Plessis said: “The first ping that Kilian carried out during the said period was on 30 April 2019 on the phone of [Kinnear’s] wife and the last one was … 15 minutes … after the murder of Kinnear. 

“The pinging and Consumer Trace Report on Kinnear started on 20 April 2020. That was days after the attack on Booth at his home on 9 April 2020. On 20 April 2020, Kilian knew that Kinnear was a police officer because he had his employment history.

“The Consumer Trace Report done on Kinnear showed his address, his cellphone number, a picture of him, the distance between his workplace and his home address and the time it took, and was generated on 20 April 2020 with a corresponding ping. 

“Kilian had to read this report to get the number of Kinnear’s wife at the bottom of the Consumer Tracing Report. On the same date a Consumer Trace Report was also carried out on Kinnear’s wife, Nicolette,” Du Plessis said.

Summarising, prosecutor Greg Wolmarans told the court that after Kilian began pinging Kinnear and Booth, he knew, among other things, that Kinnear was a police officer, that Booth was a lawyer, and he knew where both of them lived, had pictures of them, their personal banking information, and a map of how long it would take them to travel from their workplace to their home.

“At the dawn of this saga Kilian, from this Consumer Tracing Report, would have known that he was dealing with a police member. There is nothing in this trace reporting to indicate that this is repossession of anything, much less a vehicle,” Wolmarans said. 

The trial continues. DM


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