Murdered top cop Charl Kinnear was allegedly investigating a gun racket at the police head office in Pretoria which involved high-ranking officers before he was killed.
“He (Kinnear) was about to arrest two brigadiers who are implicated in cloning firearm registration and giving the licences to gangsters who use them to buy automatic rifles,” said a senior police officer, who asked to remain anonymous.
The anti-gang unit detective was gunned down outside his Bishop Lavis home last Friday.
Zane Kilian, 39, a former rugby player for the Falcons and Griquas, was implicated in the murder and was arrested in Springs, Joburg. He appeared under heavy police protection in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Kilian, who is a debt collector and also owns a tracking and investigations company, had allegedly been tracking Kinnear’s cellphone for months.
Kilian is facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal interception of communication.
“I have been reliably informed that Kinnear’s phone was pinged 4800 times at the time he was killed,” the officer added.
A senior intelligence officer on Saturday said officers were caught in a crossfire between top police brass who have taken sides in criminal investigations.
“The problem is that some senior police officers are involved in all of this. Police and crime intelligence officers take bribes from criminals to ping investigators and assist the underworld to trace their movements. There is no control within the police to clean out the rot within, that’s one of the reasons these criminals in the underworld can do what they like.”
Kilian allegedly told police that he was hired by a client only named as Mohamed who wanted his wife’s phone traced and claims he was unaware that the phone belonged to Kinnear.
Kilian has been linked to alleged Cape Town underworld boss, Nafiz Modack.
Modack posted pictures of Kilian on Facebook in March, with a message “all JHB debt collectors must go via Kilian, call him”.
Kinnear was the investigating officer in the extortion case against Modack, Colin Booysen, Ashley Fields, Jacques Cronje and Carl Lakay.
Kilian was scheduled to appear in court again on October 5.
The Hawks are expected to make more arrests this week.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said that investigators were working around the clock and more arrests were imminent as more evidence was being gathered and analysed.
Private investigator, Paul O’Sullivan offered a R1 million reward for information that could lead to the arrest of those responsible for Kinnear’s murder.
He said: “We’ve been receiving information through calls and emails. We passed information on to investigators as we are not involved in the investigation itself. The information was useful enough to lead to an arrest.”
He said no one had come forward to claim the reward. “They come forward because they want to do their civic duty.”
Kilian’s legal representative, Advocate Eckhard Rosemann said he’d received an indication from the State that it would not oppose his client’s bail or might even withdraw the charges.
This followed revelations that two people were briefly held for questioning on Friday.
“They were brought in for questioning … That’s all I can say,” said one investigator who referred further queries to the national Hawks spokesperson.
Rosemann would not be drawn into reports that those who were questioned were allegedly “the shooter (who pulled the gun on Kinnear) and the driver”.
State Security Agency spokesperson Mava Scott, yesterday said citizens were not supposed to be in possession of devices or software that could be used to track and locate people.
Private investigator Wouter de Swardt also explained that legal permission to monitor someone else’s movements could only be done through a court order.
A senior crime expert who did not want to be named said the cop’s murder has brought to the fore “a lot of issues that need to be investigated”.
“The genesis of this might not even be local.“
The DA on Sunday called on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe possible police involvement in Kinnear’s murder of Charl Kinnear.
“If these reports are to be believed, Kinnear would have possibly exposed large scale corruption within the CFR (Central Firearms Registry) ranks. The DA believes that Ipid has an important role to play in exposing the rot in the South African Police Services (SAPS) which may have led to Kinnear’s horrendous murder. Ipid simply cannot cross its arms and allow the people who potentially plotted this vile act to continue to work within the SAPS,” said DA Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield.
“If we fail to protect policemen and women who are exposing corruption within SAPS, the fight against crime in this country will never succeed. The rot within the police is one of the biggest threats to our national security and rogue police officials should be exposed and put behind bars.
“Honest police officials, such as Kinnear, who seek to expose corruption must be protected so that those with nefarious aims and with ties to the criminal underworld can be flushed out of the system,” Whitfield said.