The family of a senior Anti-Gang Unit detective who is probing several high-profile cases involving gangs are living in fear following an alleged attempt on their lives – after suspects were caught with hand grenades outside their Bishop Lavis home.
The bail application for the two suspects arrested near Colonel Charl Kinnear’s home was expected to be heard in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court today.
The incident happened a week after Colonel Andre Kay was shot dead in front of his Bishop Lavis house in November last year.
With more than 31 years’ service, Kinnear is the investigating officer into extortion involving several alleged underworld figures including Nafiz Modack, Colin Booysen, Ashley Fields, Jacques Cronje and Carl Lakay.
He is also probing the murder of prominent lawyer Pete Mihalik, who was killed in his vehicle outside his son’s school.
Kinnear’s wife Nicolette said yesterday: “This (Kay’s murder) prompted the police to deploy guards to our house. One evening, they picked up suspicious behaviour by a person walking past and they managed to apprehend him.
“It then came to light that he was dropped there by car. Both have since been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and he was also charged with something related to explosives.”
She said since the incident, the family had been living in fear.
In December, the police guard was removed from their home without warning, she said.
“We are not okay. Are we sleeping? No. The alarm goes off at odd hours, and with every sound, the entire house wakes up. We are so traumatized because you don’t know who is behind it and whether they are coming again.
“My husband is in the police force, but the attack was not just on him; the attack was on our family. We had police guarding us until December 19, then the guards were withdrawn.
“We are still at the same house. We have not been moved for our protection. That’s why I’m trying to find out how the instructions could have been given to withdraw the guards. And nobody can tell us who gave the instruction, or why.”
Nicolette said police victims of crime needed more support.
“There should be support in place for all police officers and their families who are attacked in this way. What are you to do when a grenade is thrown at your house or shots are fired?
“My husband had to sit our children down and prepare them by telling them what to do should something happen; no father should have to do that,” she said.
The police and the National Prosecuting Authority did not respond by deadline.
A reliable source connected to several high-profile investigations told the Cape Times that Kinnear was dealing with sensitive investigations, and most related to the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, targeting high-flyers and gangs.
“The people arrested share a direct link between their identity and the crime bosses Kinnear has investigated. His investigations touch on the underbelly of the gang underworld. A week before Christmas, they decided to withdraw the police protection allocated to him.
“This is concerning. He has been a victim of crime. I can’t imagine what that family is going through. Here is a colonel who has fought crime all of his working life; now he is having to fend on his own with his family.
“This criminal had the balls to walk past police with grenades in his possession. This is a direct threat towards the state. What is going to happen if something happens to Colonel Kinnear?” the source said.