Suspect arrested for murder of top cop Charl Kinnear

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The crime scene in Bishop Lavis after Cape Town detective, Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, was shot and killed.
The crime scene in Bishop Lavis after Cape Town detective, Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, was shot and killed.
PHOTO: Jaco Marais
  • A man has been arrested for the murder of Cape Town detective, Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear.
  • The suspect will appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court on Friday.
  • Kinnear was gunned down in front of his house in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town, last week.

A 39-year-old suspect will appear at the Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court on Friday in connection with the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, 52.

Kinnear, who was attached to the Western Cape Anti-Gang Unit, was shot dead in front of his house in Bishop Lavis in Cape Town on Friday.

According to Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, the suspect was arrested in Gauteng on Wednesday and details surrounding the murder are still unknown.

"More arrests are not ruled out as investigations are still underway," Mulaudzi said.

The name of the suspect is known to News24 but he cannot be identified until he has appeared in court. 

According to Netwerk24, the suspect is a former professional rugby player from Springs on Gauteng's East Rand.

Western Cape detectives reportedly took him in for questioning on Tuesday night.

The 39-year-old man, the son of a retired police colonel, was seemingly responsible for the tracking of Kinnear's cellphone, Netwerk24 reported.

READ | We failed Charl Kinnear, says Cele as he vows to track down killers

Questioned until early hours

Sources told Netwerk24 on Wednesday that the man, who is believed to be a debt collector, was taken to a police station on the East Rand where he was questioned until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The man reportedly tracks cellphone signals to earn extra money and was, according to him, duped into believing he was tracking the signal of a jealous man's wife. The man identified himself as "Mohamad", Daily Maverick reported.

The publication also reported that, a week before his death, Kinnear was in Springs to continue his investigation into alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack. Kinnear also investigated eight high-ranking police officers accused of colluding with fellow officers at the Central Firearms Registry.

At the time of his death, Kinnear was reportedly supposed to return to Gauteng and make further arrests of two high-ranking police officers.

Suspected assassination

The killing is suspected to have been an assassination, although this has not been confirmed by police. They would also not speculate about the possible motive for the murder.

ALSO READ | Charl Kinnear murder: Police must explain why armed protection of anti-gang cop was withdrawn - expert

Residents in Bishop Lavis told News24 that shots were heard at around 15:00 on Friday.

In a statement, national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said: "We are all saddened by this tragic untimely loss of Colonel Kinnear and his murder is a huge loss to South Africa and its people."

Police Minister Bheki Cele said Kinnear was "failed" by the police. The minister said this at a briefing in the Kinnear family's driveway on Saturday, after spending almost an hour with Kinnear's wife Nicolette and sons, Carlisle and Casleigh.

"I must say unfortunately, at the moment, there are more questions than answers … but right now, as it stands, it does look like we have failed as the police. We could have done things better."

Cele said he would not hesitate to ask President Cyril Ramaphosa for additional resources, if needed, to track down Kinnear's killers.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Kinnear's beloved home suburb of Bishop Lavis, the local Community Police Forum (CPF) planned to hold a candlelight vigil outside the Kinnear family home on Thursday afternoon to honour him.

 - Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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