Cop in court on gun charges

Athlone police have confirmed that the 9mm Vector pistol which was found in the possession of an Athlone police officer in Parow two weeks ago, was in fact a gun that had gone missing from the station in February.

The 24-year-old constable, who would’ve been employed at the Athlone police station for a year in December, was arrested with his 32-year-old friend and 52-year-old mother. They all appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday October 2 on charges relating to being in possession of a stolen firearm and ammunition.

The friend has since been released and the mother and son were due to appear again in court yesterday and were kept in custody at Pollsmoor prison.

Athlone police spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman said this incident has shocked the station.

“As police officers we take an oath to protect and serve our communities, not to bring disgrace to the service,” she said.

She confirmed the gun had disappeared out of the charge office at Athlone police station earlier this year.

The officer, his friend and mother were arrested on Friday September 29 when police searched a known Parow drug den (“Cop in dock for stolen gun”, Northern News, October 4). According to Sergeant Norman, during their search the suspect walked in and claimed that he was collecting an item which had been stolen from him.

Police then searched him and found ammunition in his pocket. The suspect’s mother then approached police and after speaking to them, walked away to a parked car. Police then searched the car and found the 9mm gun.

Sergeant Norman said that a provincial and regional inspection of firearms is currently under way to ensure that police officers carry the firearms which were issued to them.