How a police gun ended up in the hands of 'gangsters' in Cape Town
A state-owned firearm confiscated for "safe-keeping" from a police official embroiled in a domestic dispute in the Northern Cape ended up in the hands of a "gang" in Cape Town.
The tale of how the firearm made its way from the hands of law-enforcers to the underworld emerged when a police constable appeared in the Springbok Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Constable Kadri Cohen, 24, was charged with theft and defeating the ends of justice.
“Cohen’s arrest follows allegations of his involvement in the theft of [a] state firearm in 2016 at Nababeep police station,” said Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi.
“Between August and November 2016, he allegedly connived with a local gang and sold them a firearm, which was disposed of at the police station for safekeeping. The firearm was removed from another police official, who was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute.”
A case of theft was registered, but there was no progress with the investigation.
“The matter was referred to the Hawks' serious organised crime investigation in May 2018 and it was established that Cohen [allegedly] stole the firearm in 2016 and gave it to a gang in Grabouw, who then sold it to another gang in Cape Town in exchange for drugs,” said Mnisi.
The missing firearm is yet to be recovered.
Cohen was released on warning and will appear in court again on May 3.
More than 30,000 firearms were destroyed by the police in Gauteng on Wednesday.
The firearms, marked for destruction, at steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal in Vereeniging, had all been "seized, surrendered or forfeited" to the state, said police.
Police minister Bheki Cele said around two-thirds of the firearms were surrendered and the rest procured through "the actions of police".