The guns allegedly resold by a former high ranking Vereeniging policeman to gangsters on the Cape Flats were meant for destruction.
This is according to the provisional charge sheet in the State’s case against ex-colonel Chris Prinsloo, who appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The former officer, who resigned from the force after his arrest in January, faces 28 charges, including murder, attempted murder, racketeering, fraud, corruption and theft.
State prosecutor Shireen Riley said the accused was part of a group of criminals who stole guns and ammunition destined for destruction and resold them, primarily to gangs on the Cape Flats, “to further the gang wars that raged in the Western Cape from 2007 onwards”.
Prinsloo had more than 35 years of experience in the force. He was released on R20 000 bail on Wednesday and the case was postponed until September 11 for further investigation.
Proceedings are being heard in Bellville in an attempt to centralise the charges against the 55-year-old former officer.
It is understood that the investigation into the resale of the firearms spanned over five years.
National police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale confirmed to News24 that Prinsloo was allegedly found in possession of 400 firearm magazines and 10 000 rounds of ammunition when he was arrested in January. R120 000 cash was also confiscated, he said.
Over the past four years, police have reportedly destroyed 110 000 guns and one million rounds of ammunition.
Police confirmed a further 14 382 illegal firearms would be destroyed on Thursday in Vereeniging.
Outside court, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana described the officer’s arrest as a breakthrough in the fight against corruption.
“Any one of us who does anything contrary to [rendering a professional service] is being dealt with. What you are seeing is witness to that.
“We don’t disregard any information given to us, even if it is given by people shouting in the street. There are processes we must follow to verify and authenticate it, and it is through this process that we are standing here today.” News24