A FORMER police colonel appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court yesterday accused of selling guns and ammunition to Cape Flats gangs.
Christiaan Prinsloo, 55, was stationed in Vereeniging in Gauteng for 35 years and co-ordinated the confiscated firearms stores. It was his responsibility to ensure that forfeited firearms were destroyed.
He was arrested on January 16 this year and faces 28 provisional charges including corruption, money laundering, murder, and of being in contravention of the Firearms Control Act for selling, supplying or giving possession of ammunition to a person who is not allowed to possess it.
Prinsloo resigned from the police shortly after his arrest.
According to the charge sheet, he stole 38 firearms, most of them semi-automatic.
The State alleges that Prinsloo had access to, and used specialised resources of the supply-chain management of the SAPS to facilitate the theft and delivery of the firearms.
It is the State’s case that the core function of Prinsloo’s alleged syndicate was to steal firearms and sell them to gangs on the Cape Flats that “displayed a continued and considerable demand for illicitly obtained firearms and ammunition to further the gang wars that raged in the Western Cape from 2007 onwards”.
Prinsloo made his first appearance in the province yesterday and did not plead to any of the charges. The State did not oppose bail and he was granted bail of R20 000. Prosecutor Shareen Riley said Prinsloo was not a flight risk and the public’s safety was not at risk if he were to be out on bail. He will appear in court on September 11. Prinsloo’s lawyer Grant Smith said his client had previously appeared in court in Gauteng, but the case would be centralised.
The State also alleged that Prinsloo was responsible for the murders of Gregory Isaacs in Belhar in December 2013, Sipho Dyani in Delft, in April 2013, and Damien Juries in Delft last year. He also faces 12 attempted murder charges.