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

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Zane Kilian seen leaving court.
Zane Kilian seen leaving court.
Jenni Evans, News24
  • A witness in the murder investigation of the Anti-Gang Unit's Charl Kinnear compiled reports for the police to show the senior detective was being tracked.  
  • The Bellville Regional Court heard that Bradley Goldblatt, whose house was raked with bullets in a drive-by shooting, also gave police updates on this before Kinnear was murdered.  
  • Kilian's lawyer maintains that the evidence against the debt collector and former rugby player is circumstantial and that the real killer has not been caught.     

A witness in the investigation into the murder of the Anti-Gang Unit's Charl Kinnear warned the police several times that he had found out that his client Zane Kilian was allegedly using ping bundles to track the location of the senior detective before he was killed, the Bellville Regional Court heard on Thursday.

This is according to the affidavit submitted by Bradley Goldblatt, who said that he sold Kilian "ping bundles", thinking he needed the location tracking for his work in debt collection and vehicle repossessions. 

Kinnear was shot dead in his car on 18 September 2020 as he waited outside his home in Bishop Lavis for his son to move a car so that he could park. 

Kilian was arrested in Gauteng a few days later and brought to Cape Town, where he has waited almost six months for his bail application to be finalised.  

On Thursday, the Bellville Regional Court continued hearing Zane Kilian's bail application, but not before his new lawyer, advocate Marius Botha, requested that the cuffs on Kilian's wrists be removed.

There was also a disagreement over whether he should be allowed to give Kilian a fresh change of clothes. An orderly firmly refused, saying there were signs prohibiting this, as Botha clutched the pink plastic bag. Botha said he would seek a court order on this, but the matter was resolved later by agreeing that the clothes would be given to the police.

Botha submitted that the evidence against Kilian was circumstantial, with the police already conceding that he was not the shooter.  

He said video footage showed that the shooter had been in the area for a long time before Kinnear was killed. He said Kinnear must have known the shooter because he did not speed off when he saw him before he was shot dead.

He questioned why the police do not appear to be pursuing this.

READ | Western Cape top cop facing misconduct probe over 'disrespectful' social media posts about Sitole

Kilian has to prove exceptional circumstances to justify his release on bail because his offence is regarded as "Schedule 6", one of the most serious offences in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. 

He also has to convince the court that he won't tamper with evidence or witnesses if granted bail.  

Reading a statement by Kilian, the court heard via Botha that Kilian's family was struggling without him, and that his autistic son was having meltdowns.

Kilian's father had also lost almost 20kg since his son's arrest.  

Botha said the image of Kilian as a gun-toting gangster was also inaccurate.

He said a picture of him holding a large heavy gun was taken when he was in a gun shop and, because the gun was so heavy, somebody had asked if he would be able to lift it. 

His other gun was an air gun, which does not require a licence. 

'Nonsensical'

Botha submitted that Kilian did not have a single previous conviction, which was remarkable for a person accused of being involved with gangsters.

Kilian also faces a charge of attempted murder of lawyer William Booth - along with Kim Smith, Kauthar Brown, Ibrahim Deare and Riyaad Gasant - in April 2020. 

He was joined to that case in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court also because of the pinging the police allege he did to track the location of Booth's phone.

The charges in that case include being part of gang activity with a group the State calls The Terrible Westsiders from Woodstock. 

Botha submitted that Goldblatt actually gave Kilian his password and username, which he then used to access credit bureau records. He paid Goldblatt a monthly fee for using his credentials. 

When Kilian passed on location details for his work, there was no way he could have known that clients were lying about why they needed them.

Botha submitted that the allegation that Kilian had high technological abilities was "nonsensical" because he couldn't even send an email and mostly used WhatsApp. 

Botha said that according to an affidavit by Goldblatt, when Goldblatt deduced it was Kinnear who was among people being pinged a lotm and that Kinnear was a policeman, Goldblatt had told the police.  

"The question immediately is, why did the police not do something? If they were suspicious, why did they not act?" he asked.

An inquiry is underway into why Kinnear was not protected after reported warnings about threats to his life.  

Charl Kinnear
Anti-Gang Unit senior detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear was gunned down in front of his Bishop Lavis home on Friday 18 September.

Prosecutor Greg Wolmarans said a study of the thousands of pings Kilian did showed that 72% of them were of people who by and large had no outstanding debt to be collected.  

"He says he is in the job of debt collection. It simply does not stack up against the evidence," submitted Wolmarans. 

Pings

Besides Kinnear and Booth, Kilian is also alleged to have pinged businessman Jermone Booysen and his son Joel, other officers in the AGU, Kilian's present and former wife, Beerhouse owner Randolf Jorberg who had formally complained about extortion, and another person who also complained about extortion.  

There were also pings made to people who had survived assassination attempts, including Andre Naude and Mark Liffman, and even pings for the location of Western Cape deputy police commissioner Major-General Jeremy Vearey. JP Smith, the City of Cape Town's member of the mayoral committee for safety, was also pinged.  

Wolmarans said, besides the drive-by shooting at Goldblatt's house, investigator Edward Du Plessis also received a phone call warning him that there was a R1-million hit out on him.  

The call to the investigator was traced to Cape Town to an employee of a person described as "Mo" or "Mr X" in the court papers. That person has not been located yet.    

The investigating officers are in the meantime being guarded by a specialist task force.

Wolmarans said it was also Goldblatt that Kilian had allegedly phoned and asked that all traces of him in the credit record system be removed. 

He added that Kilian had also allegedly submitted a false certificate saying he was registered with the Security Industry Regulatory Authority of SA.

Wolmarans said that, not just future behaviour, but also past behaviour should be considered when granting bail.

The matter was postponed to 18 March for judgment in the bail application.

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