R1m reward for info on top Anti-Gang Unit investigator Charl Kinnear’s killers
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Cape Town - As the police’s 72-hour activation plan to arrest those behind the assassination of top Anti-Gang Unit investigator Charl Kinnear closes, a R1 million cash reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
Kinnear, 52, was shot dead inside his vehicle in front of his house in Bishop Lavis on Friday, sparking anger and outrage as the police protection assigned for him was abruptly withdrawn in December despite threats against his life and pleas from his family.
He had been investigating high-profile cases, including underworld figures in the city.
Days before his murder, Police Minister Bheki Cele had announced the establishment of a steering committee to look into allegations that a number of Long Street businesses were being asked to pay a “protection fee”.
Kinnear’s murder also came a day after 43-year-old Harare Sergeant Thabile Mapoma was shot and killed on Thursday in his yard in Cula Street, Khayelitsha. He had just dropped off his wife at a local taxi rank.
The reward from non-profit organisation Forensics for Justice for Kinnear’s killers was made after Cele visited the families of the slain officers, assuring Kinnear’s widow and children that a second probe into his security detail would be undertaken and police national commissioner General Khehla Sitole would lead the process.
“From the report I have received, this officer has been under threat for some time. He was provided with police protection but that was withdrawn at some point; now I want to know what informed that decision. This family deserves to know whether their father was failed and if so, heads must roll,” he said.
Forensics for Justice founder and seasoned forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan said Kinnear was a hard-working, honest cop who was just doing his job and those who wanted to contribute to the reward could go to their website to donate (https://www.forensicsforjustice.org/donations/)
“Forensics for Justice recognises that the trouble in the Western Cape with criminal gangs and Mafia syndicates, if left to continue, will bring South Africa to its knees. We have therefore taken a decision to issue a R1 million in cash reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who arranged the murder of Charl Kinnear, and we want all South Africans to stand with us to ensure that justice prevails,” O’Sullivan said.
Provincial police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana referred all questions to the Hawks.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said: “There is a multidisciplinary team led by the Hawks, working together with Crime Intelligence, provincial detectives as well as the Anti-Gang unit with the investigations.”
Nkwalase said by late yesterday afternoon no arrests had yet been made but officers were working around the clock to make arrests.
Kinnear’s house has three visible cameras mounted on the wall, with two of them facing in the direction where his car was parked at the time of his shooting.
“We cannot reveal anything at this stage about the CCTV footage as it forms part of the ongoing investigation. We can, however, safely say that the police are following all possible leads,” he said.
Regarding the reward, Nkwalase said it came as police had encouraged all community activists who sought justice to work together with them.
“We are certain that any helpful information received will be forwarded to the police to assist in the investigation,” he said.
The investigation into the murder of Mapoma was also ongoing, with no arrests made yet, said Nkwalase.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the union viewed the killing of Kinnear as a cowardly act aimed at trying to get law enforcement officials to deviate from their pursuit of certain high-profile cases.
“There was an application for his protection; the application was not approved, which begs the question as to why such a person working on high-profile cases would be left vulnerable,” Mamabolo said.
Police killings should be considered treasonous, and heftier measures for those found guilty should be imposed, he said.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.