Concern over rate of police firearm theft

The DA says it will continue to ask questions about the loss or theft of hundreds of police firearms.

FILE: Concerns are being raised this afternoon about the number of firearms being stolen from police stations. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Concerns are being raised this afternoon about the number of firearms being stolen from police stations following the arrest of a senior Gauteng officer.

Eyewitness News this morning revealed that Colonel Chris Prinsloo, who has served 35 years in the South African Police Service, was arrested in connection with the discovery of 750 rounds of ammunition at his house.

The arrest is part of a wider investigation that has been running for over a year and is being conducted by a Western Cape task team.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said the high-level arrest of Prinsloo shows the effectiveness of Crime Intelligence.

She said Prinsloo's arrest is a great disappointment.

"That type of skill takes many years to build and surely to reach that level, the person should also have had passion."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will continue to ask questions in Parliament about the loss or theft of hundreds of police firearms.

The party also wants more clarity on the role police officers play in the flow of weapons to the criminal underworld.

Prinsloo is due to appear in court in March.

He appeared in court earlier this week, was released on R5,000 bail and now faces suspension while his trial runs its course.

The police's Solomon Makgale says the arrest relates strictly to the ammunition found at the colonel's house.

Prinsloo was renowned for his knowledge of firearm laws.

Last week, over 9,000 confiscated weapons were destroyed in Vereeniging with Phiyega and senior police leadership overseeing the process.