An accused in a case relating to a hand grenade discovered outside Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear’s home has claimed that Anti-Gang Unit head Major-General André Lincoln wanted help to set up a hit. These claims come as stark divisions in the police service, especially within crime intelligence, have become even more apparent.
The head of the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) in the Western Cape wanted a criminal suspect and his partner to help plan a hit on “a dangerous person” who was threatening him and a colleague, an accused has testified in the Parow Regional Court.
Amaal Jantjies is accused alongside two men, Farez Smith and Janick Adonis, on charges including conspiracy to commit murder and procuring explosives. Jantjies took to the witness stand in the court on Friday, December 11 at the start of her bail application.
Adonis, who has already been sentenced for another matter, and Smith did not apply for bail.
Kinnear was assassinated outside his Bishop Lavis home in Cape Town on 18 September 2020.
He was a member of the AGU and worked under Lincoln.
While testifying on Friday, Jantjies claimed Lincoln had on several occasions asked for her and Adonis’s help to target someone (not named during the proceedings), who apparently threatened him and Kinnear.
Jantjies claimed another policeman asked her to set up a meeting with “these people” and she wanted to know what would happen if she did.
“General Lincoln responded that they want to shoot the person on the scene,” she stated.
Jantjies testified Lincoln wanted “a hit” to be planned and claimed she recorded all the conversations she had with him on her cellphone. These recordings were not produced in court on Friday.
Kinnear’s widow Nicolette and his two sons were seated in the courtroom’s public gallery, with several AGU members who were there as apparent protection to the Kinnear family.
This week, it emerged that some of the country’s top crime intelligence officers have been, or face being, suspended.
A volley of claims and counterclaims among police officers in the Western Cape have been made.
Adding to this murk, at the end of October News24 reported that Cape Town crime suspect Nafiz Modack claimed cops, including Lincoln, were involved in a plot to have him assassinated.
Meanwhile, Kinnear, who had been investigating cases relating to Modack, previously complained to police bosses that some Western Cape cops were working to frame him and his colleagues, and that a number of crime intelligence officers were aligned to Modack.
Neatly tying up these claims is that national crime intelligence head Peter Jacobs had labelled the crime intelligence officers Kinnear referred to as a “rogue” unit. Jacobs himself is set to be formally served a suspension notice in a week, in a matter relating to PPE irregularity.
In court on Friday, Jantjies said she and Adonis became familiar with Lincoln and AGU members in 2019 when Adonis appeared in a court in Khayelitsha, as an accused in a case, and she attended the proceedings.
Once, AGU members had escorted Adonis and after his appearance, two of them, a Sergeant Pappie and Captain Stone, waited for Jantjies outside the courtroom.
Captain Stone received a call and gave her the phone; Adonis was on the line.
Jantjies said it was then arranged she would meet Adonis at “the base” – the AGU’s headquarters in Bishop Lavis – and she went along with this.
When she arrived at the office, Sergeant Pappie, Captain Stone, a Sergeant Marlon and Lincoln were waiting with Adonis.
Jantjies claimed that Lincoln wanted Adonis’s help to retrieve illegal firearms. In particular, he wanted to arrest a suspect and get hold of a particular gun.
She understood that this suspect and firearm may have had to do with the murder of a police officer with the surname Prins. (It was widely reported that a police sergeant, Donovan Prins, was murdered in Lavender Hill in June 2019.)
Adonis, on hearing what police wanted help with, then wanted to know what he would get in exchange.
Lincoln, according to Jantjies, then agreed to see to it that Adonis would be able to apply for bail in the Khayelitsha matter as he had been in custody for a while.
She said Lincoln organised a cellphone for Adonis and told him not to worry about rules relating to its use in jail.
After this meeting, Jantjies claimed AGU members took her and Adonis to a McDonald’s, where they bought them burgers and drinks, cigarettes and MTN airtime for the cellphone.
Adonis appeared in the Khayelitsha court again around the end of October when his case was remanded.
He was taken back to the base and Jantjies claimed the arrest of the suspect in a case – presumably relating to the Prins murder – subsequently went ahead in Delft. She said she had also gone to the scene in Delft, where the suspect carrying a backpack containing a firearm was arrested. After the arrest, Jantjies said she went to the Delft police station where several AGU members, as well as Adonis, were.
At one point, she claimed, Sergeant Pappie asked Adonis to buy the AGU members food. Jantjies said she had about R3,000 on her, which Adonis asked for. He pocketed R1,000 and gave R2,000 to the AGU members, apparently to buy food.
Adonis and Jantjies went to the base again during the second week of November where they were told the firearm, presumably the weapon retrieved during the arrest, wasn’t correct.
Jantjies testified that it was on this occasion that Lincoln asked for Adonis’ help with a person who was threatening him “a lot”.
The person’s name was not divulged in court on Friday.
Jantjies testified she had asked Lincoln why he had not opened a case if someone was threatening him, but he did not answer. She said that Sergeant Pappie then asked if she would help to meet “these people” somewhere. Jantjies stated that she wanted to know what would happen if she went ahead with this and while Sergeant Pappie replied someone would be arrested, Lincoln had said “that they want to shoot the person on the scene”. She insisted she refused to go ahead with this plan as Lincoln was “a high-ranking police officer” and “should know better”.
Jantjies testified that Sergeant Pappie had also asked for her help as “this person is a big problem for the general”.
After this conversation, she said, she had left while the AGU members looked for Adonis’s identity document as they wanted to register him as an informant.
Jantjies testified that on 14 November 2019 there was another meeting at the base and Adonis discussed a firearm, which would cost about R15,000 to procure, with AGU members.
Jantjies claimed during this meeting Lincoln asked her “personally” to help arrange something relating to “this person threatening him”.
She said Adonis wanted to know what Lincoln wanted and that Lincoln replied “a hit should be planned”.
Jantjies further claimed Lincoln had said that the hit must be very well planned. “He asked that I should get two people from Elsies River, that his life is in danger.” The two people, Lincoln apparently requested, preferably needed to be drug addicts.
Jantjies said Adonis had wanted to know about Lincoln’s “other colleague” and was told it was Kinnear.
“Lincoln said that the person who threatened him and Kinnear was a very dangerous person,” Jantjies said.
As part of the apparent plot, Jantjies said Lincoln had provided an address, which was Kinnear’s home address in Bishop Lavis.
Jantjies said Lincoln wanted an exceptionally well-planned attempted shooting to take place at Kinnear’s house.
Soon after this was discussed, Kinnear arrived at the base. Jantjies said Kinnear confirmed to Adonis that he was also being threatened. She claimed she repeatedly told Lincoln she did not want to go ahead with the plan and asked why the person threatening him was not simply arrested. “He said he can’t arrest the person at the moment and that’s why he needed us to carry out the hit,” Jantjies said.
The bail application is expected to resume next week.
It was previously reported that Smith, the third accused in the case and whose name did not surface during Friday’s proceedings, was arrested outside Kinnear’s home on 23 November last year, allegedly in possession of a grenade. At the time a protection detail was assigned to Kinnear. But it was removed the following month.
Daily Maverick previously reported that it had since emerged that Lincoln said the AGU had undertaken to protect Kinnear, but this was withdrawn over the festive season as all members had to be deployed elsewhere. Lincoln had recommended that Kinnear be transferred to Sea Point, but Kinnear refused.
Zane Kilian, who was subsequently arrested in connection with Kinnear’s murder, may apply for bail next week.
It is not the first time Lincoln has been accused of wrongdoing.
In the 1990s, Lincoln was accused of working with powerful Italian mafia banker, Vito Palazzolo. He claimed fellow police officers had framed him.
Lincoln was tasked with investigating Palazzolo, as well as other figures including nightclub security kingpin and rumoured apartheid-state operative Cyril Beeka.
Beeka, who was murdered in 2011, happened to have been close to Modack, who Lincoln has recently investigated.
In the Palazzolo saga, Lincoln was criminally charged, convicted and later acquitted, in a matter that was finally wound up in October this year when the Constitutional Court upheld a finding that he was not maliciously prosecuted in 1997. DM