Anti-gang group calls for boycott of gun smuggling accused's businesses

2016-07-02 10:07
FILE: Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

FILE: Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

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Cape Town - An anti-gangsterism movement has called on the Cape Town public to boycott fast food franchises partly owned by a businessman accused of gun smuggling.

Irshaad Laher appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of gun smuggling and racketeering and was granted R100 000 bail.

He was a part owner of Kusasa Commodities 332 CC, Rosta Traders CC, Aspidus 238, and Aspar Properties CC.

Kusasa owns the Spur in Ottery, Rosta the Observatory Spur, and Aspidus  Nando’s in Athlone.

Laher is also understood to have had shares in Nando’s in Gardens.

The 41-year-old was arrested at his Rondebosch home last week. He is accused of buying firearms from a former police colonel who stole them from a police armoury.

Ex-policeman Chris Prinsloo, 55, of Vereeniging, was recently sentenced to in effect 18 years behind bars after he entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State. He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including theft, racketeering, and money laundering.

The seasoned officer was in charge of a police armoury from which 2 400 guns were stolen over almost a decade. He raked in R2 million for stealing guns and ammunition destined for destruction.

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

Boycott Nando's

#GangsterismMustFall’s Roscoe Jacobs said they believed the State would prove its case against Laher.

“We have confidence in the police following the successful conviction of one of their own, who admitted to his role in flooding the Cape Flats with guns, resulting in daily killings in the form of gang-related shootings,” he said.

He called for a boycott of the Nando’s in Athlone and the Observatory and Ottery Spur.

Jacobs urged police to investigate if these businesses “were used as fronts as they are perfectly situated to use as a base of operation”. 

The franchise should also be boycotted, he added, claiming that it had not distanced itself from Laher.

According to Nando’s, a meeting was held with Laher and other parties, where they agreed to terminate their relationship.

The company said in a statement that Laher’s shares in the Gardens Nando’s were purchased by Hintowitz CC, while his shares in the Athlone branch were bought by Aspidus 238 CC.

The shareholder in Hintowitz CC is Sally Sandra El Saidy, and in Aspidus 238 CC  Fayaaz Ahmed Parker and Reaaz Ahmed.

“Whilst acknowledging Mr Laher's denial of the allegations against him and that to date no wrongdoing has been proved, Nando’s categorically condemns all acts of violence and criminal behaviour,” the company said.

Spur mum

Jacobs welcomed the decision.

“All sectors, including business, have a role to play in fighting the gang problem.”

Spur had not yet responded to a query at the time of publishing.

Laher lived in Gauteng before he moved to Cape Town.

Prinsloo apparently met Laher 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.

Prinsloo allegedly made deliveries to others for collection by Laher and delivered firearms to him in the Western Cape. Some of the deliveries were made at the McDonald’s in Ottery, near the Spur Laher owned.

According to the State, in their last transaction in December 2014, Laher paid Prinsloo R120 000 for a shipment of firearms. It never materialised as Prinsloo was arrested the following month.


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