Charl Kinnear killing: Zane Kilian denies being part of murder, claims tracking was legal

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  • Former rugby player and private investigator Zane Kilian denies murdering Anti-Gang Unit detective, Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear.
  • In his lawyer's submission he said any tracking work he does is legal and in the line of private investigations he is registered to do.
  • A petition calling for the arrest of the "real killer" is circulating online.

Former rugby player and private investigator Zane Kilian denies murdering Anti-Gang Unit detective, Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear. This came in a day of tension and drama at the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"He did not commit murder. He did not conspire to commit murder. And he also did not transgress the [Telecommunications Act] whatsoever," said his lawyer, advocate Eckhard Rösemann.

Kilian appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court on Friday under heavy police guard.

At least 40 armed officers from various units, including task team officers in helmets and goggles, guarded the inside and outside of the court, while officers in civilian clothes and balaclavas also monitored the scene.

After a long delay, with horses carting recycled materials around passing taxis outside on the busy road, while a police Nyala waited for Kilian, the case finally started.

All devices were first checked by police to see if they were switched off to prevent photos being taken inside court, and journalists' credentials were checked.

Kilian's entry to the dock was marked by police officers facing him, standing with their rifles at the ready, pointing down.

Search for more secure court

Prosecutor Greg Wolmarans reiterated the parties had agreed that a more secure court had to be found, and that the case had to be transferred to a regional court.

Kinnear was shot dead in his car, outside his house in Bishop Lavis on 18 September. It is understood that Kinnear was being tracked before he was killed.

Wolmarans said there had been a delay in hearing the bail application and transferring the case to a regional court because a regional court which could accommodate Kilian's case had not yet been located.

He hoped that by the return date, 14 October, this would have been resolved as Kilian's lawyers had complained about his Constitutional rights being infringed.

The burly Kilian stood in the dock in a black hoodie again, with black-rimmed spectacles. His hair had been trimmed, but his head tattoos still showed through.

Kilian's case is still in its early stages and he is yet to apply for bail or enter a plea, but his lawyer wanted to submit two documents to the court.

He submitted proof that the Springs-based private investigator is registered with the governing body for the industry, and is also registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

Online petition

"This actually allows him to do surveillance and satellite tracking," said Rösemann, leading up to addressing one of the charges his client faces – alleged illegal interception of communications.

"What he has been accused of doing, he did legally," he said, without elaborating further on the tracking aspect.

Wolmarans said if the lawyer wanted to "burden the court" with further documents ahead of the bail application he was entitled to do so, and they were entered into the record.

Kilian's legal team believes his rights are being violated by delaying his bail application, and an online petition is circulating calling for the arrest of the "real killer".

The petition includes a picture of CCTV footage of a person purported to be the shooter, who appears to be of a smaller build than Kilian.

"Bail for Zane Kilian. Catch the real killer, police have the wrong man in custody!" it reads.

Loud singing came from outside the court as a group of women gathered to protest against the rape of a nine-year-old girl in Langa in July last year, with dogs barking over all the commotion.

Her mother was among the group that then joined neighbours who had arrived for the spectacle of the street being blocked off for Kilian's convoy back to the holding cells.

Outside Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court
The armoured police vehicle leaves court.
Police prepare to move Zane Kilian from court
Police prepare to move Zane Kilian from Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court.
Police prepare to move Zane Kilian from court
Police prepare to move Zane Kilian from Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court.
Police checked that devices were switched off
Police checked that devices were switched off to prevent any recording or pictures during the appearance.

"Stop that car!" shouted a commanding officer, as the Anti-Gang Unit and other units cleared the road for the police Nyala to pass through with its escorts.

People shouted about how many police officers were present to protect Kilian, compared with Kinnear not having any protection as he investigated high-profile, dangerous cases.

As the police Nyala eventually drove out of the court's premises, one person shouted: "You f**ker!"

A woman shouted: "He must go to Goodwood, the agge (eights) is waiting for him," in a reference to the 28s gang.

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