BACK ON THE BEAT: Major-General Jeremy Vearey has been reinstated as deputy provincial commissioner of crime detection, after he and Major-General Peter Jacobs won their case, with costs, in the Western Cape Labour Court. Picture: Rusana Philander
CAPE TOWN - Major-General Jeremy Vearey has been reinstated as deputy provincial commissioner of crime detection, after he and Major-General Peter Jacobs won their case, with costs, in the Western Cape Labour Court.

They approached the court after they were demoted to the position of cluster commander in the SAPS.

Jacobs has been reinstated as provincial head of crime intelligence.

In their affidavits, they said their demotions would negatively impact the fight against gangsterism in the Western Cape.

Jacobs said their investigation into gang activity in the province “revealed that corrupt officials were both supplying illegal firearms and illegally providing firearm licences to gang leaders”.

“After his arrest, Colonel Chris Prinsloo admitted via a plea bargain to illegally supplying 2000 firearms to gangs. These firearms had been meant for destruction by SAPS, but were stolen from their stores,” Jacobs said.

“The consequence of this illegal supply was the injury and death of a large number of people. One thousand and sixty-six murders had been committed with these weapons between 2010 and 2014. This figure will grow exponentially unless the firearms are recovered.

“Prinsloo did not act alone. Approximately 1200 of the firearms he supplied are still at large.

“They are likely to be used to commit more murders. Part of our investigation was to trace and recover the firearms, identify the people using them and bring them to justice.

“Before I was appointed to crime intelligence, no dedicated intelligence capacity focused on gangs in the Western Cape.”

Following yesterday’s court decision, Vearey said: “This is not just a victory for us, but also for the the ordinary constable in the police. I have gone through a lot of strain and stress. And to come off this victorious is quite a significant thing I can breathe now."

Jacobs added: “We are elated at the decision and that rules that protect the working class was followed, and that processes should be followed.”

Their lawyer, Clive Hendricks, said: “Normally the court do not order costs. It is an indication of the court’s displeasure of what happened. Them being demoted was not necessary.”

SAPS said: “The South African Police Service has taken note of the ruling by the Western Cape Labour court in the matter between Popcru (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union), Major-General Jacobs and Major-General Vearey versus the South African Police Service. Management is studying the court’s decision and its implications.”

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CAPE ARGUS