South Africa

Ex-rugby player Zane Kilian charged with murder of cop Charl Kinnear

Ex-rugby player Zane Kilian charged with murder of cop Charl Kinnear

The identity of the man arrested in connection with the murder of senior Cape Town policeman Charl Kinnear killing has been revealed. He is Zane Kilian, 39, a former professional rugby player from Gauteng.

Kilian appeared in Bishop Lavis magistrate's court on Friday morning under heavy police guard. The burly man wore a black hood in court and stared at the magistrate.

He stood in the dock handcuffed and the only time he spoke was when he confirmed that he speaks Afrikaans.

Angry members of the community in Bishop Lavis, where Kinnear was murdered a week earlier outside his house, shouted expletives outside court. Some said he must rot in jail for, allegedly, "killing a good cop".

Kilian faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal interception of communication.

"[The] accused is guilty of murder ... in that upon or about 18 September ... near 10 Gearing Road, Bishop Lavis, in the district of Goodwood, the accused did unlawfully and intentionally kill Charl Kinnear, a male person," the charge sheet read.

"The state will allege that the accused contravened ... the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act ... in that the accused from around March 2020 until 18 September 2020 within the Republic of South Africa wrongfully, unlawfully and intentionally intercepted communication in the course of its occurrence or transition from the cellphones of Charl Kinnear."

The court postponed the matter to October 5 for further investigation and a bail hearing. Kilian will be held at the Bellville police  cells.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for the prosecution in the Western Cape, said they will oppose Killian's release on bail.

Kilian's attorney, Eric Bryer - who once represented Czech fugitive Radovan Krecjir - said the Springs man was arrested on Monday and questioned  at the Hawks offices in Germiston. 

"They took him to Midrand police station on Monday night. On Tuesday he was in Midrand cells until about 3 in the afternoon," said Bryer.

“They collected him and brought him here overnight and we arrived here Wednesday morning.”

Bryer said the man had not been charged when he left Gauteng. “He was actually charged yesterday afternoon.

“Yesterday, the communication varied. He hadn't been charged. They were somehow going to roll it over to Monday but they changed their minds and let us know yesterday that he has been charged and he is appearing in court today."

Security was tight outside court and journalists were instructed to turn off their phones before the suspect's appearance. They were also told they would not be permitted to photograph the man because his life was in danger.

Kinnear, 52, a section commander in the anti-gang unit, was murdered a week ago while sitting in the driver's seat of his car outside his home in Bishop Lavis. The lone gunman fled and is still at large.