Ex-cop on guns and gangs rap
A former senior policeman has been charged with the murders committed by gangsters who bought stolen confiscated firearms and ammunition from him. Christiaan Prinsloo, a former colonel who was in charge of several police firearm storage facilities in Germiston, Gauteng, appeared yesterday in the Bellville Magistrate's Court charged with three Cape Town gang murders and 12 attempted murders.It is believed to be the first time a police officer has been charged with a crime committed by a person using a weapon that was illegally sold by that officer.Gun Free SA welcomed the charges. "We hope the trial will expose the nature and extent of illicit gun trafficking," said spokesman Adèle Kirsten."We need stronger gun laws to reduce the risk of these things happening."Prinsloo, 55, faces 28 charges, including racketeering, corruption and theft. He was granted R20000 bail after telling the court he was co-operating with the police.He was arrested in January after a two-year investigation by a Western Cape police task team. Several hundred rounds of state-owned ammunition were discovered at his home. He was released on R5000 bail in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court, and resigned shortly afterwards.On Monday Prinsloo was rearrested on the new charges. The initial case has been withdrawn and the charges added to the case in Cape Town, which was adjourned until September.Prinsloo and others allegedly stole firearms and ammunition destined for destruction and have been providing them to Cape Flats gangs since 2007.Martin Hood, from MJ Hood and Associates, who specialises in firearm law, said the case was reflective of "systematic problems in the legislative and administrative control of firearms".As far as he knew, no one who had sold a gun that was later used to murder someone had been charged with murder, until now.