Revealed: Charl Kinnear's first meeting with gangster accused of trying to kill him

20 May 2021 - 07:00 By aron hyman
Lt-Col Charl Kinnear was murdered in September 2020, 10 months after a failed hand-grenade plot to kill him.
Lt-Col Charl Kinnear was murdered in September 2020, 10 months after a failed hand-grenade plot to kill him.
Image: SA Police Service

Three months before an unsuccessful attempt on his life with a hand-grenade, anti-gang unit (AGU) detective Lt-Col Charl Kinnear first met the gangster now accused of plotting the attack.

This emerges from an affidavit submitted by a Hawks investigator during the Parow regional court bail application for another of the alleged plotters accused of trying to kill the veteran police officer in November 2019.

Warrant Officer Trevor Shaw said AGU member Sgt Wayne Leukes called Kinnear on August 21 2019 saying Janick Adonis, a gangster in custody and facing charges of murder and attempted murder, claimed to have information he wanted to discuss.

“Kinnear agreed to meet Adonis and met him on the same day at Khayelitsha court where he was appearing as an accused,” said Shaw.

“Kinnear then helped transport Adonis to Helderstroom correctional services in the Caledon area to interview him.”

Shaw said during the drive Adonis told Kinnear he knew the accused in one of Kinnear’s investigations, a man named Modack.

He was referring to Cape Town underworld figure Nafiz Modack, who appeared in Blue Downs regional court on May 14 charged with murdering Kinnear outside his home in September 2020, as well as for his alleged role in the “hand-grenade plot”.

Adonis told Kinnear that Modack was receiving assistance from police officials, according to Shaw's affidavit, and claimed to have recordings of Modack promising the officers money.

“Adonis indicated that he would supply Kinnear with these recordings on his next court appearance and indicated that these recordings were kept with someone who was not in custody,” said Shaw.

He said Kinnear asked Adonis why he was willing to help the police, and the gangster said he wanted the detective's assistance in being released on bail.

“Kinnear got the impression that Adonis thought, since he was Leukes’s commander, he could arrange for Adonis to get bail on his current court case,” said Shaw. “Kinnear informed Adonis that should he want bail he must speak to his legal representative.”

Adonis told Kinnear that he would ask his father to bring the memory card containing the recordings to Khayelitsha court during his next appearance a week later.

Lt-Col Andre Lincoln, right, outside the Cape Town high court in 2017.
Lt-Col Andre Lincoln, right, outside the Cape Town high court in 2017.
Image: Aron Hyman

However, Kinnear did not contact Adonis on August 28 and instead asked AGU commander Lt-Gen Andre Lincoln to interview the gangster on October 9.

On that day, said Shaw, Lincoln met Adonis at the AGU's Faure base and the gangster asked that his girlfriend, Amaal Jantjies, be present. Jantjies is now Adonis's co-accused in the hand-grenade case, and Shaw's affidavit was handed in during her bail application.

During the meeting with Lincoln, Adonis said he had information about the murder of Sgt Donovan Prins in Lavender Hill in June 2019.

“In exchange, he wanted the charges against him to be withdrawn or that he be released on bail in the gang-related matter involving multiple attempted murder charges executed against rival gang members,” said Shaw.

Shaw said Lincoln told Leukes to contact the prosecutor in Adonis's case, Blaine Lazarus, and ask him to come to the base. Lazarus is also the prosecutor in the case against Jantjies and Adonis.

Lazarus’s heads of argument, also handed in to court on Tuesday, say Lincoln asked him about the possibility of withdrawing charges against Adonis or releasing him on bail.

Shaw said Lazarus rejected the request, but later that evening Adonis and Jantjies supplied the AGU with an address in Delft where police found a Browning pistol with live rounds in its magazine. They arrested Beyondstin “Problems” Joseph but it was later established the firearm was not used to murder Prins.

A week later, Adonis appeared in the Khayelitsha court again and was escorted there by  AGU officers including Ashley Tabisher, who on May 3 was charged with corruption alongside Modack.

The prosecutor told a Bishop Lavis magistrate  that Tabisher agreed to provide Modack with details of intelligence the AGU was gathering about him and when they planned to raid his premises.

Jantjies called Tabisher at court and said she had new information about the firearm used to kill Prins, leading to the discovery in Delft South of a Lorinco pistol with its serial number filed off.

“After the seizure of this firearm, Tabisher and [a colleague] transported Adonis back to Helderstroom,” said Shaw.

It appeared Adonis and Jantjies were trying to assist the police, but Shaw said he discovered they were desperate to win the trust and support of AGU commanders.

On May 10 this year, said Shaw, Joseph told him Jantjies had approached him to “take the fall” on gun charges in exchange for money and legal representation. But he received neither.

According to Lazarus, the timeline of events showed that when Adonis met Lincoln he must have already known Joseph was going to be arrested in connection with the Browning pistol.

“Adonis knew that if he gave them the information and it was positive he would gain their trust, that was why he approached the AGU and told them that he had this information,” said Lazarus.

“His motivation for co-operating with the AGU was aimed at obtaining their assistance and backing to support his request to be released on bail or as a mitigating factor to get a more lenient sentence.”

Cellphone records show that Jantjies contacted Modack for the first time on November 8  2019, and the following day she received a cellphone from Modack.

Shaw said a recorded conversation between her and Tabisher on November 10, as well as  EFT payments by Modack and cellphone evidence, indicated she had corrupted the AGU officer.

Tabisher was expected to provide inside information about AGU raids on Modack’s premises in exchange for payment, said Shaw.

Modack agreed to help Jantjies by paying for a “bulldog” advocate to lead Adonis’s high court bail application.

The recorded conversation Jantjies allegedly made to prove to Modack that Tabisher was now on his payroll was handed into court.