Convicted ex-cop’s illegal firearms linked to nearly 1 100 murders

2016-12-14 20:07
(File, Supplied)

(File, Supplied)

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Cape Town – Nearly 900 illegal firearms that ended up in the hands of gangsters, through an ex-policeman, are linked to more than 1 060 murders, an affidavit before the Cape Town Labour Court has revealed.

Former Colonel Chris Prinsloo of Vereeniging was in charge of the police armoury and stole 2 400 guns over almost a decade.

He was recently sentenced to in effect 18 years behind bars after entering a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

He pleaded guilty to stealing guns and ammunition destined for destruction and reselling them, primarily to gangs on the Cape Flats.

Shocking figures emerged in an affidavit this week. It was deposed by Major-General Peter Jacobs who previously headed the Western Cape’s crime intelligence unit.

According to his affidavit, he and another senior officer, despite their expertise, were sidelined in another massive firearms investigation.

“A total of 888 firearms of the 2000 firearms supplied by Colonel Prinsloo were forensically connected to 1066 murders. This is for the period 2010 to 31 May 2016,” Jacobs stated in the affidavit.

“The outstanding balance of firearms might be linked to both crimes before 2010 as well as those crimes post May 2016.”

The founding affidavit formed part of a court application by Jacobs and Major-General Jeremy Vearey, former deputy provincial commissioner for detective services.

They were effectively demoted in June and were challenging this decision. Vearey was shifted to a position he previously filled, commander of the Cape Town cluster of police stations, while Jacobs was appointed Wynberg cluster commander.

They had been involved in several high-profile investigations.

Before their sudden redeployment, one of their investigations had been into allegedly corrupt crime intelligence officers and politicians.

Jacobs said in his founding affidavit that they had alerted senior police officers to the imminent and real danger of countless crimes being committed with illegal firearms, and of the police’s constitutional obligations to the public in general.

“The extent and gravity of the situation was stressed with the most recent discovery of more than 250 firearms at a house in Valhalla Park, Western Cape.

“Distressingly though, when police raided and discovered the firearms at Valhalla Park, the third applicant [Vearey] and I were instructed to refrain from assisting and to leave the scene of the crime; that notwithstanding our expertise and intense investigations over the past years into illegal firearms.”

They said the instruction apparently came from Major-General Mzwandile Tiyo, who is a respondent in their application.

Tiyo was appointed provincial crime intelligence head to replace Jacobs.

It was not yet clear why Vearey and Jacobs were moved from the critical positions.

They recently approached the Cape Town Labour Court in a fight for official documents informing their sudden redeployment.

Based on an order by agreement on Tuesday, it seemed there was little to no record of the redeployment decision by top police officials.

A date had not yet been set for the men's review application.

 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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