The wife of murdered Cape Town detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear says her husband lived for his job since taking his oath 31 years ago.
Kinnear was shot dead in front of his house in Bishop Lavis in Cape Town on Friday.
Kinnear’s 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.
Kinnear was attached to the Western Cape Anti-Gang Unit as a section commander and was involved in investigations in several high-profile cases, which resulted in multiple arrests.
‘His work was his passion’
Nicolette Kinnear and the couple’s sons, Carlisle and Casleigh, spoke to the media outside the family’s house following a visit from Police Minister Bheki Cele on Saturday.
She delivered a call to police to stand firm in the face of crime – and not be deterred by her husband’s murder.
“My husband had 31 years’ service, and he lived for his job … for the oath he took 31 years ago.
“He pursued it until the bitter end …
“His work was his passion, and he lived for working for the community, and for SAPS.”
Asked whether the police had failed Kinnear, she said: “As the minister has acknowledged, there’s a lot of things that should have been done differently. I have received the minister’s word that he’s going to investigate … he has promised to come back, in a very short space of time, to give us feedback. Because I don’t think what my sons and I need now are lies.”
Asked about their safety, since the assassination, Nicolette said: “Look, we were always worried … In the past, they might have wanted to get to us to get to him.
“The fact that my husband is no longer with us, now that he’s gone …. I think the boys and I should be fine.”
Asked if the family had a message to other police members, in their ongoing fight against crime, she said: “It’s not easy. I appeal to the guys: If you took your oath, be proud of your oath, stand for your oath, remember your oath.
“I tell my kids and their dad also told them: ‘If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.’”
To the media, she said: “A lot of you have done a lot of reporting on my husband, and you knew [what] he stood for. So that’s my appeal to all the guys out there: You may be standing alone, but stand for what you believe in.”
She said the family had received “a lot of support” from chaplains, counsellors and other social services.
We failed Charl Kinnear, says Cele
Cele admitted that slain police detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear was “failed” by the police.
The minister said this at a briefing in the Kinnear family’s driveway.
Cele said: “Yesterday I did speak to the president that issues here are serious.
“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 the president for additional resources, if needed, to track down Kinnear’s killers.
Kinnear, the minister said, had been “the top of the crop” – and had been ranked the top police investigator in the Western Cape, and number three in South Africa.
Kinnear had been “not just an ordinary human being, but an extraordinary human being”.
The family had demanded of him that Kinnear could not become “a statistic”. He said “they want to know what happened”.
“It is clear we have lost a good man … Usually, police are lambasted … who nobody appreciates. By contrast, [the media] was unanimous … that Kinnear was ‘the best of the best’.
“That tells you what kind of man we have lost,” Cele said.
He confirmed that other police officers had received threats to their lives, including Major General Andre Lincoln, and would be protected.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.