Cape Town - A finalised report by police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), has found that the murder of slain top cop Charl Kinnear “ should not have happened” if members of SAPS including a so-called Rogue Unit, and others implicated in the report, had carried out their core functions as mandated by the Constitution.
According to the finalised report by Ipid, members of SAPS had “dropped the proverbial ball” and must individually and collectively take responsibility for their colleague’s death as the investigation uncovered evidence pointing to the possible “criminal conduct of defeating or obstructing the course of justice” leading to Kinnear’s murder.
The report stated that SAPS management had ample time and enough credible information to ensure the prioritisation of the Threats and Risk Assessments on the life of Kinnear after they had been made aware of it since 2019.
The investigations were launched after Police Minister Bheki Cele and General Khehla Sithole handed the complaint to IPID to investigate.
Enquiries to the police ministry were not answered by deadline on Thursday.
In conclusion of their investigations and finalising the report, proposed ministerial interventions by Ipid include that the minister “strongly considers” the disbandment of the provincial AGU to be replaced with a new task team with members from different provinces.
Another recommendation is that current senior management undergoes vetting and lifestyle auditing.
The 84-page report details damning evidence against a number of police officers and senior management including Captains and warrant officers, which Ipid had recommended be charged departmentally for conduct that “detrimentally affects the image of the service or brings the service into disrepute”.
“Major-General (Mzwandile) Tiyo as Provincial Head Crime Intelligence Western Cape … failure to acknowledge or even attempt to arrest the suspicion of a Rogue Unit is questionable and requires the National Commissioner intervention in ensuring Tiyo takes accountability for the reputational damage caused by the Rogue Unit and the divide caused in the Western Cape SAPS,” an extract from the report read.
Kinnear’s widow, Nicolette Kinnear, said the report shows a “messy, murky situation” in which senior SAPS members, while the investigation was conducted, got a “get out of jail free card” as they were allowed to retire from service before the investigation was completed.
“I have said it from the beginning that everybody who is responsible should be held accountable. There were so many people who knew (of the threat to my husband’s life) and chose to do nothing. They sat back and did nothing despite having all the intelligence. The majority of implicated officers have been allowed to retire from or leave the organisation.
“How will they be held accountable? Criminal charges can stand yes but a dereliction of duty is not a criminal charge. The whole thing is rotten to the core and its sickening. I know my husband had enemies within and without the organisation but all they had to do was their job … what they were mandated to do. If they had acted on the recommendations during 2019 after receiving my husband’s complaint, 2020 (Charl’s death) would not have happened,” said Kinnear.
Whistleblower and activist, Colin Arendse said: “Given the contents of the report, it is now fait accompli that the Rogue Crime Intel Unit operating in the Western Cape does exist, is illegal and their members must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The sickening irony is that Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, General Patekile, in a previously written reply to Parliament, appears to deny the existence of the corrupt rogue unit … The only solution is for the conflicted General Tiyo to be fired and for all those in blue who are implicated in this captured mess to be prosecuted and jailed.”