89 children killed with weapons stolen by ex-police colonel

Cape Town - A total of 89 children were shot dead on the Cape Flats between February 2010 and December 2015 with firearms stolen by former police colonel Christiaan Prinsloo.

In that same period another 170 children survived after being shot with the same firearms, Netwerk24 reported.

The children, according to a report in Netwerk24's possession, were all between the ages of 1 and 18 years old.

The incidents were linked via ballistics to more than 800 firearms Western Cape detectives have traced so far. The detectives were, until recently, attached to Operation Combat, the province's anti-gang strategy.

Prinsloo stole the weapons that were in the custody of police in Gauteng and these ended up in the hands of gangs on the Cape Flats.

In court papers lodged in the Labour Court in Cape Town last week, the police's Major General Jeremy Vearey and Major General Peter Jacobs said 888 of 2 000 firearms stolen by Prinsloo were forensically linked to 1 066 murders in the Western Cape.

More than 1 100 guns missing

The murders took place between February 2010 and May 31 this year.

The court papers form part of an application to try and get provincial police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula to give reasons why Vearey was transferred from the position of deputy provincial commissioner for detective services and Jacobs was transferred from the position of provincial crime intelligence head.

More than 1 100 of the 2 000 firearms that Prinsloo stole from police since 2010 are still missing.

In the court papers Vearey and Jacobs said the rest of the firearms could possibly be linked to crimes that happened before 2010 and after May this year.

They said December and January were "murder season" on the Cape Flats and minor children especially could become victims of shootings.

Earlier this year Prinsloo was sentenced to 18 years in jail for his role in the gun smuggling network.

He allegedly sold the firearms to Irshaad Laher, 41, a businessman from Rondebosch.

Laher then allegedly sold the guns to gangs on the Cape Flats.

40 murders linked in 2014

Laher and firearms dealer Alan Raves are expected to appear in the Western Cape High Court on February 10 next year in connection with the case.

The first death linked via ballistics to one of the stolen firearms was in February 2010. Three-year-old Leshay Arnold was struck by a stray bullet fired from one of the firearms

In 2011 three teens, Sedick Cochraine ,18, Dillan Hendricks, 17, and Nazeed Sadan, 18, were killed with the firearms.

The number grew in 2012 when more stolen firearms entered the Western Cape.

Gregory Abrahams, 17, Rene Gideon, 14, Mohammed Kariem, 17, Chadlee Hartogh, 17, Charlton Adams, 18, Lurialdo Louw, 18, Natasha Adams, 16, and Ezra Isaacs, 18, were shot dead with the guns in that year. 

Twenty-six murders were linked via ballistics to the weapons in 2013. The youngest victims were Rowan Botha, 7, of Atlantis, and Ashwin Messias, 8, of Delft.

In 2014 40 murders were linked to the firearms, while in 2015 12 killings were linked to the guns.

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