Winde, Popcru call for protection of cops after Kinnear murder

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 09: Police presence as suspect Zane Killian appears at Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court for Charl Kinnear murder case on October 09, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. It is reported that Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear was shot dead outside his home in September. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Popcru said police killings were ‘cowardly acts to deviate law enforcement officials from pursuing certain high-profile cases’, adding that heftier measures for those found guilty should be imposed.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has called for a “shift in our police service”, following the murder of high-profile Cape Town police investigator Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear.

Winde described Kinnear as “a top detective with the police’s Anti-Gang Unit”, adding that he was working on a number of high-profile cases involving some of the province’s gang bosses.

“I am extremely disappointed that such a crime could have been committed. This fully underscores in my mind the shift needed in our police service. We need more police, more protection for our police and more protection for our people,” said Winde.

Winde also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele “to arrest the further decline of our police service by investing in its numbers and in its institutional strengthening, without delay”.

“We do understand the difficulties, but all effort needs to be made now to overcome those difficulties and to bring about lasting positive change. Let Charl Kinnear’s life not be lost in vain.”

Kinnear was shot dead in front of his house in Bishop Lavis on Friday.

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.

The murder comes a day after Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz met with Cele and City of Cape Town Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith to formulate a plan to address the ongoing extortion of Cape Town businesses.

Winde said: “The Western Cape government is committed to making this province safe for the people who live here but we must have the police resources, and the assistance and trust of the public to do so.”

Fritz added: “The police and the Hawks must shine a light onto the dark, criminal underworld that exists in this country, and act against its leaders and the corrupt system that enables it. Failure to take decisive action now will only result in further loss of life, and the death toll for police and innocent civilians is already far too high.”

Protection not provided

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has also urged decisive action, saying Kinnear had applied for protection – an application which was not approved.

“Kinnear … served the law enforcement fraternity with diligence and commitment for a time spanning over 30 years. It is understood that he was working on several high-profile investigations … When there was an application for his protection, the application was disapproved, which begs the question as to why such a person working on high-profile cases would be left vulnerable,” the organisation said in a statement.

Popcru said police killings were “cowardly acts to deviate law enforcement officials from pursuing certain high-profile cases”, adding that heftier measures for those found guilty should be imposed.

“[We] urge the SAPS management to protect their own, especially at times when they [are handling] high-profile cases, which has the potential to put their livelihoods at risk,” the organisation said.

Fritz also called for more police resources, including Crime Intelligence, detectives and public order police, to be allocated to the Western Cape to tackle crime, gangsterism and unrest.

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