'Classified' report into Charl Kinnear's murder will be released once implicated people are charged

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Anti-Gang Unit senior detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear.
Anti-Gang Unit senior detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear.
Melinda Stuurman
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele says a report into the murder of Anti-Gang Unit detective, Charl Kinnear, will only be released once those implicated are charged.
  • Parts of the report have been made public and have blamed senior high-ranking officers within the police and the Hawks.
  • Kinnear was gunned down outside his Bishop Lavis home in Cape Town on 18 September 2020.

A highly "classified" police report into the murder of Anti-Gang Unit detective, Charl Kinnear, will only be released once those who have been implicated are charged.

This is according to Police Minister Bheki Cele who has argued that the classification of the report is meant to protect the integrity of the SA Police Service (SAPS).

Cele was responding to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Ockert Terblanche who wanted details on the report into Kinnear's death.

"The report has been properly classified, and the only error that bedevilled the classification was the failure to mark the pages accordingly. This has since been done, and at the moment, the report is classified as 'top secret' as per the minimum information security standards (MISS). As previously submitted, the IPID cannot be complacent to the crime of having sight to a document marked classified by people not authorised to do so.

"The protection of the information remains a priority to the institution and shall remain the priority until those implicated by the report have been formally charged by SAPS or NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) or both, as the case may be," Cele said in his response.

PICS | Murder of top cop Charl Kinnear captured in chilling CCTV footage

In November last year, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) slammed Hawks boss, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, and accused him of failing to stop Kinnear's killing.

Details about Lebeya's alleged failure to prevent the murder of Kinnear – gunned down outside his Bishop Lavis home in Cape Town on 18 September 2020 – are contained in the classified IPID report.

Police Minister Bheki Cele
Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Gallo Images Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

The directorate compiled the report after a months-long investigation, conducted at the request of former police commissioner Khehla Sitole, to determine the circumstances surrounding the murder.

READ | Killing Kinnear: Secret report reveals infighting contributed to cop's death

The report, compiled in September 2021, laid bare how the police, from top brass members such as Lebeya to low-level highway patrol officers, systematically failed to do their jobs, which led to Kinnear's murder.

Furthermore, Cele said revealing the names of the members implicated in the report before they are formally charged would amount to a travesty of justice.

"They have the right to equality before the law, and such must be protected, notwithstanding public interest in this matter," he said.

Asked if he would classify the report now that most of its content is out to the public, Cele said:

The declassification of the report will only happen when those implicated have been formally charged and have appeared in various fora. The report contains names, contact details and other confidential information of the witnesses. To divulge this information before the charging of those implicated will have far-reaching consequences for the administration of justice.

Apart from the IPID investigation, the police conducted two internal investigations, both of which found that the police's top brass knew Kinnear was under illegal surveillance but failed to protect him.

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