New information on detective Charl Kinnear’s murder comes to light
Cape Town - As parliamentarians vowed, this week, to find answers into the killing of top detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, a report which contains serious findings has emerged.
Kinnear’s widow, Nicolette, turned to the parliamentary portfolio committee on police for answers to the September murder of the Anti-Gang Unit detective outside their home in Bishop Lavis.
The contents of the report, dated October 6, which bears the signature of Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing Lieutenant General Moeketsi Sempe has according to sources, never been shared with top officials.
Sempe was tasked by national commissioner General Khehla Sitole to launch an investigation into events that led to Kinnear’s murder.
The report has found glaring omissions of crucial information and failure by those in power to act.
It said that the killing of Kinnear could have been avoided had information on the interception of his phone been shared with top officers.
Sitole’s spokesperson did not deny nor confirm the existence of the Sempe report, but made reference to the criminal and departmental investigations currently underway, as well as Nicolette’s petition to parliament.
National police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said he was “not at liberty to disclose” any information outside the processes.
In an attempt to reach Sempe, the Weekend Argus was told that he “retired from service” in November.
Unconfirmed reports suggested that Sempe’s contract was not renewed.
However, Sempe alleged that on the basis of evidence at his disposal, the police top brass knew of the impending threat to Kinnear’s life.
But the acting provincial commissioner at the time and deputy national commissioner, crime detection, Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi, cancelled a critical meeting where the threat was to be discussed.
Information from the Hawks (Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations) also noted three other officers, including the head of the Anti-Gang Unit, Major General Andre Lincoln and Major General Jeremy Vearey’s lives were also in danger.
According to the report, Mfazi allegedly requested a meeting on November 21, 2019, to discuss critical information on the threat to the officers.
However, on November, 22, 2019, at around 5.47am, the meeting was cancelled via an email.
There was no evidence to indicate how Mfazi handled the situation in line with the requirements of the SAPS security policy, the report said.
Other findings by the Sempe investigation included that Lincoln attempted to introduce interventions to protect Kinnear after serious threats to his life surfaced by deploying members of the AGU to perform security functions at his house from November 14 to December 13, 2019.
However, this form of security was not sanctioned in terms of the applicable policy, but became necessary under the stated circumstances.
This arrangement was intended for a short-term period pending a formal security threat assessment appraisal.
“The withdrawal of this physical security by Lincoln was well within his competence, given the absence of a related security threat assessment appraisal... In the absence of a security appraisal to determine the need, it is not unreasonable to withdraw, lest it translates to legal or other policy transgressions,” Sempe said.
He added: “It needs to be mentioned that the physical security at the Kinnear home had been withdrawn nine months prior to the commission of the crime in question”.
The security presence also followed the killing of a Lt Col Kay who was attached to Provincial Firearm, Liquor and Second Hand Goods service.
The report noted that the attack was a case of “a mistaken identity” because Kinnear was referred to as “K” in the underworld. It also added that no physical security assessment on the house was ever done as Kinnear was sceptical about the involvement of Crime Intelligence in his security appraisal and “as such elected to ignore calls made on him to consider his security differently”.
Kinnear was investigating crimes by underworld gang bosses and police at the time of his death.
The Hawks information which was submitted to the top brass, noted the illegal interception of Kinnear’s phone by a suspect, Zane Kilian, who was arrested after Kinnear’s death and is currently in custody.