Cele confirms notice of IPID criminal complaint against Sitole over Kinnear murder probe

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Embattled national police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Embattled national police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
  • Police commissioner Bheki Cele's office confirmed receiving notice of IPID's criminal complaint against national commissioner Khehla Sitole.
  • EWN reported that IPID took this step after Sitole allegedly refused to cooperate with their investigation into AGU detective Charl Kinnear's death.
  • IPID said it would not comment on leaked information.

Police Minister Bheki Cele's office has confirmed receiving a letter notifying them of a criminal complaint against national police commissioner Khehla Sitole for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) probe into the murder of Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) detective Charl Kinnear.

"The Ministry has received the info note from the IPID, and the letter will be referred to the president as in accordance with all matters regarding the National Commissioner," said Cele's spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba.

EWN reported that IPID had registered a criminal complaint against Sitole for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation. The oversight body also notified Cele of this.Kinnear was a senior AGU detective based in Cape Town and specialised in murders and cases involving illegally obtained or illegally used firearms as well as crimes linked to gangs. Police officers are among those who have been arrested in his investigations.He was murdered outside his house in Bishop Lavis on 18 September 2020.

In the aftermath of his death, it had, however, become clear that some of his colleagues had known that he was in grave danger. The information substantiating this included a report from an ex-policeman who sells cellphone-location tracing services.

READ | Crime Intelligence boss Peter Jacobs faces internal probe over Kinnear death

Kinnear's location was being carefully plotted, allegedly by former rugby player Zane Kilian, days before the murder. In the meantime, the warning about the danger Kinnear was in, lay on a desk in an office, seemingly unattended to with the urgency it required.

Kilian denied tracking Kinnear, saying he bought the location bundles for his debt collection business. He said he suspected someone else had the same log-in as him because they were depleted quickly, and he was credited with more when he complained.

READ | Witness told police repeatedly Kinnear was being tracked, court hears in Kilian bail application

IPID said it won't comment on the specifics of the latest development, but confirmed that an information note had been released.

"We, IPID, would like to confirm that indeed yesterday, 26 January 2022, the executive director of the IPID, Mrs Jennifer Ntlaseng, released an info note with her signature for the Minister of Police's attention," IPID said.

"The letter was delivered yesterday. It is unfortunate that this info note was leaked to the public and was not released [by] the Independent Police Investigate Directorate.

"Therefore, for these reasons we will not be discussing the content of the letter or any matter related to this info note, because doing so means we will be encouraging people to continue leaking information. [Information] has to be released by the institution in a formal and proper manner so that we can engage with the issues.

She said: 

At this current state we are talking about information that is leaked and we do not want to entertain that.

Kinnear's colleague at AGU, Ashley Tabisher, is among those arrested. He allegedly agreed to take money from alleged criminal enterprise boss Nafiz Modack to tip him off on police raids. Police officers are among those accused in a gun licensing racket Kinnear was working on.

Modack and Kilian face charges of the murder and attempted murder of Kinnear.

The attempted murder case relates to an alleged attempt at lobbing a hand grenade at Kinnear's house. The build-up to this allegedly involved a go-between for Modack trying to get a better deal for her boyfriend who was on trial in another case. She claimed that everything she did was on the orders of AGU head Andre Lincoln, who flatly denied this.

They were denied bail and were in custody waiting out their next court appearance.

Comment was not immediately available from the national spokesperson for the police, but will be added when received.

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