Bail for arms cache accused

Kathryn Kimberley

AN EX-SOLDIER, arrested after he was allegedly found with a large cache of unlicensed firearms and nearly 6000 rounds of live ammunition, was released on R5000 bail yesterday, but not before the court heard the dramatic details leading to his arrest.

Police made the shocking discovery last week following a frantic phone call of a domestic disturbance at Gary Corson’s Van Stadens homestead.

His wife, Janine, 52, claimed Corson had tried to strangle her. But it was Janine’s reluctance yesterday to proceed as a complainant that played a pivotal role in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court’s decision to release him from custody.
Corson, 46, a former member of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) where he worked as a gunsmith for 20 years, faces provisional charges of pointing a firearm, assault, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and possession of prohibited firearms – including R4 rifles – and ammunition.

Investigating officer Sergeant Paul Roelofse said Janine contacted the police on the evening of January 19 with claims that Corson had tried to strangle her.

“She said they had marital problems and that he had gone on a drinking spree. That’s what led to the fight. She said he then fled in his bakkie with some of his guns,” Roelofse said.

“Officers tracked him down in his bakkie and saw him throw something out the window. They stopped next to him, where they found an R4 rifle in the bushes.” Police then followed him back to his Van Stadens smallholding, where they allegedly found “numerous firearms, barrels, gun parts, gun powder and 5620 live rounds of ammunition.

“He said he did repair work for various firearm dealers in Port Elizabeth. I am in the process of following this up.”
Roelofse said Janine contacted him shortly before court yesterday wanting to withdraw the charges of assault and pointing of a firearm. “She said the accused was receiving treatment and that they had been married for a long time and wanted to work on their marriage.” The matter was postponed to March 13.

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