Nicolette Kinnear, widow of the slain detective Charl Kinnear, has voiced her deep concerns for her family's safety following the abrupt withdrawal of their security detail.
The withdrawal of the police officers assigned to protect her family happened on Sunday, one day before the trial of the men suspected of killing her husband was to begin.
Charl Kinnear, a decorated detective attached to the Anti-Gang Unit, was assassinated outside his home in 2020.
The State alleges that Modack ran an 'enterprise' named Nafiz Modack Enterprise between October 2019 and September 2020.
Modack, Kilian and a large group of suspects are facing a plethora of charges, including murder, attempted murder, racketeering and various other charges relating to Kinnear's death.
In an interview with Newzroom Africa, Nicolette Kinnear revealed that she was informed about two weeks ago by a general of the impending withdrawal of her security, a decision originating from the provincial commissioner.
Despite requesting written confirmation, she only received an informal message later on. She recounted that on a recent Sunday, despite security personnel reporting for duty as usual, they were suddenly ordered to leave by a captain, acting on instructions from the station commander, which had apparently bypassed the colonels in charge of her security detail.
This unexpected move left her questioning the lack of proper protocol and communication within the police force, she said.
When asked about the safety of her family, Nicolette shared that her children are living in a state of paranoia, aware of the threats they face due to their father's investigation into corrupt police officers and his uncovering of significant links within the police force.
"My children are paranoid and afraid, obviously. It is no secret that their dad was investigating police officers, and it is also no secret what our own investigations have revealed. We know that some of the accused appearing (in court today for his murder) have strong links to generals in this province, and that is no secret … I think people are using the rank and their stars and stripes to intimidate (us)," she said.
Nicolette expressed her dismay at the police's handling of risk assessments for her family.
She pointed out that the assessments, conducted both provincially and nationally, were done by parties implicated in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) report.
This report, which investigated the circumstances leading to her husband's assassination, highlighted multiple failures at various levels within the police department.
Nicolette raised concerns about the credibility of these assessments, noting their suspicious similarity, despite being conducted in different provinces.
She suspects that the withdrawal of her protection might be an intimidation tactic, linked to a culpable homicide docket she opened against everyone implicated in her husband's murder, including police officers.
Nicolette believes that the police's reluctance to charge anyone with culpable homicide in this case is a significant issue.
Addressing the Ipid report, Nicolette clarified that although it was initially claimed to be classified, it couldn't have been, as it was discussed with her.
She suspects that the sudden classification of the document might be related to the culpable homicide docket she filed.
Nicolette said she remains determined to pursue justice, despite these challenges, including the alleged connections between some generals in the province and the accused in her husband's murder case.
In response to questions from IOL, Western Cape police spokesperson, Colonel Andrè Traut said: “SAPS protection provided to individuals is of a classified nature and not something that is discussed in the public domain, but rather directly with the party concerned. It is on this basis that this office is not in a position to elaborate further on the matter cited in your enquiry”.