Nafiz Modack ‘hated my husband’s guts’, says Kinnear’s widow
● Slain Cape Town top cop Charl Kinnear’s home has turned into a shrine embodying his life and career.
His police cap hung on a South African flag in his living room this week. The pictures that were displayed at his memorial service are spread out under a television set. In between them are white candles, one of them with his picture emblazoned on it, and an open Bible. Outside, two police officers, in a marked van, watch his home.
His widow, Nicolette Kinnear, opened her doors to the Sunday Times on Thursday. This followed the recent arrest of alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack in connection with a failed hand-grenade attack on the antigang unit commander’s home in November 2019.
Sitting between her sons, Carlisle, 25, and Casleigh, 19, Nicolette narrated the “harrowing” months since her husband’s death, her pursuit of justice and coping with her loss.
“It has been the longest seven-and-a-half months for us. It’s a roller-coaster,” she said.
“Some days are better than others. Obviously since last week with the bail applications, things have sort of intensified.”
She said she hoped that other detectives in her husband’s predicament would be saved through her fight for justice. Nicolette and her sons underwent counselling but she said they found strength in talking openly about their loss.
“We have got a very strong support structure but it is really the grace of God that has been guiding us through this time. We are not reluctant to speak out.”
Nicolette was vocal about threats to her husband’s life and, long before he was killed, had appealed to the top echelons in the police to provide him with security, after it was withdrawn.
After Kinnear’s death, police began an internal investigation to determine the reasons for the withdrawal of security. But Nicolette said only an independent investigation would yield the answers her family needs.
“No, they have not provided the answers we need.
“There are so many reports ... it is such a mess. The national police commissioner [Khehla Sitole] mandated somebody to conduct an investigation of the guarding. While that investigation was ongoing, it surfaced that the top brass knew [about the risks Kinnear faced].
“We need an independent investigation because SAPS is implicated. We are really pinning our hopes on an independent investigation. That will be the only way, otherwise who is going to investigate who?”
Nicolette said the police had two choices: “To bury our heads or be accountable and admit that this is where we went wrong and make sure we don’t do it again. If we don’t, I am afraid we are going to have more and more families sitting in our situation.”
She said the police were outside her home on the day of the failed hand-grenade attack. Nicolette said her living room has sentimental significance to her family.
“My husband would often sit here and work, preparing his statements,” she said.
“The boys would sit with him and watch soccer games. He would even sit here watching the fish tank. Someone asked if we intended to move [now]. But you can’t run away from your memories. We don’t have to get into a car and drive to [where he died]. We can literally go outside. The boys just go outside and sit on the pavement where it happened, which I think is all part of healing and dealing with emotions.”
Nicolette said she was not surprised that Modack had been linked to the handgrenade attack.
“I am not surprised because my husband investigated the underworld and investigated him. Mr Modack hated my husband’s guts. It is what it is,” she said.
“Unfortunately some people have given themselves certain stature and they expected to be treated with kid gloves. My husband treated all people the same way. It is not the norm that you are arrested this morning and go to court this afternoon and then bail is granted. But certain people are treated differently. Why? I don’t work in the justice system. My husband was not dictated to. He just did his job.”