The names of 34 slain South African Police Service (SAPS) officers were added to the national memorial wall at the Union Buildings during an annual national commemoration day on Sunday, 5 September.
President Cyril Ramaphosa joined Police Minister Bheki Cele, national police commissioner Khehla Sitole and family members of police officers who lost their lives between April 2020 and March 2021, including anti-gang unit detective lieutenant-colonel Charl Kinnear.
“The honour came 30 years too soon,” Kinnear’s widow Nicolette told the Mail & Guardian.
“It’s a great honour he deserves for the sacrifices he made throughout his career, but the honour came too soon.”
Kinnear was assassinated outside his home in Bishop Lavis in Cape Town, on 18 September last year. Seven suspects in his murder, including alleged underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack and debt collector Zane Kilian, have since been arrested. The bail hearing of four of the suspects is currently ongoing at the Blue Downs regional court in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, Kinnear’s family is still waiting for answers on why protection services were removed outside their home days before he was shot and killed outside the house. Cele promised an investigation and report into why the protection was withdrawn, but this has yet to be provided to the family.
“The deaths of these 34 members should not be in vain. Their loss should remind us all as a nation the importance of community policing partnerships,” Cele said at Sunday’s commemoration.
On the same theme, Ramaphosa reiterated the importance of police and members of the public working together: “Criminals live with us and among us in our communities. We must therefore work towards strengthening community and police relations and bring strategic stakeholders on board to bolster the efforts of the police to bring down levels of serious and violent crime,” he said.
This year’s final salute for the murdered officers was held under the shadow of the recent killings of officers Nkosinathi Ngcobo, Sharon Mogale and Pumlani Dastile, who were gunned down in three separate incidents in the last week of August.