A former Hawks “policeman gone rogue” was jailed for 15 years on Wednesday for stealing confiscated guns and possession of ammunition and explosives.

In June, Durban regional court magistrate Anand Maharaj found former warrant officer Daniel Reynecke, 64, guilty of a string of offences related to the theft of firearms from police custody and possession of ammunition.

In 2003 and 2016 Reynecke was convicted of unlawful possession of firearms and given a suspended sentence.

He resigned from the directorate in 2015.

“In my mind he is not susceptible to rehabilitation,” said Maharaj.

He found the former police officer showed no remorse for his crimes and took cognisance of a probation officer’s unpromising report.

“During the assessment the accused maintained his innocence, a sign of not accepting responsibility for his actions,” said Maharaj.

He added that Reynecke exploited police weaknesses and eroded confidence in the SAPS.

He agreed with prosecutors Annelize Harrison and Yolisa Nyakata, who described the accused as a “policeman gone rogue”.

“[Members of] society look to law enforcement to assist and protect them. They expect them to be persons of integrity and beyond reproach. This type of behaviour goes against the ethos of police to serve and protect people,” Maharaj said.

It emerged in court that Reynecke was a no-show on a previous occasion and had told his attorney, Thobile Sigcau, he was considering suicide.

Maharaj noted the proliferation of firearms in KwaZulu-Natal and said he hoped the sentence would serve as a deterrent to police officers contemplating similar conduct.

“These crimes are very serious and they should not be taken lightly,” he said.

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