Angry Pagad members removed outside court

2016-07-22 12:29
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Chaos erupted outside the courtroom where Cape Town businessman Irshaad Laher and Vereeniging arms dealer Alan Raves appeared on Friday.

"How many people died because of you?" former Pagad leader Abdus Salaam Ebrahim shouted at Laher as he stood in the passage outside the courtroom at the Bellville Magistrate's Court.

Ebrahim and other People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) members shouted "Allahu Akbar" as police forced them to leave the court.

Laher and Raves appeared on charges including gun smuggling and racketeering.

Outside the court, a small group of people held placards reading "You smuggled with our lives, #IrshaadLaher".

Guilty plea

Magistrate Ronald Rickets said the trials would for now be separated. Laher was due back in court on October 18, and the matter against Raves was transferred to the Western Cape High Court for a pre-trial conference on November 4.

Laher, from Rondebosch, is accused of buying guns from ex-policeman Chris Prinsloo of Vereeniging, who was recently sentenced to in effect 18 years behind bars after entering a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including theft, racketeering, and money laundering. The former colonel was in charge of the police armoury and stole 2 400 guns over almost a decade.

In his plea agreement, Prinsloo said he provided guns to a man in Cape Town, which eventually ended up in the hands of gangsters.

Prinsloo apparently met Laher in Gauteng when he was a policeman and Laher a reservist. He told police after his arrest that he sold about 2 000 guns to Laher, the State alleges.

Raves, 50, is out on R20 000 bail. He is accused of being in a corrupt relationship with Prinsloo and being involved in the gun supply chain to the Cape Flats.

Provincial detectives attached to Operation Combat arrested Raves last August as part of an investigation into the illegal gun trade.

During the arrest several guns, ranging from assault rifles to small-calibre arms, were seized. Raves is also a gun collector.

According to advocate Estelle Killian, SC, for Raves, they would call on national and international experts to testify when the matter goes to trial.

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Read more on:    police  |  cape town  |  crime

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