PORT ELIZABETH – Judgment is expected in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday in the case against a former Port Elizabeth police constable Walter Francis, charged with a murder in which his official police firearm was used.

Francis allegedly murdered a suspected gangster in Bethelsdorp in Port Elizabeth’s Northern areas. The State, during the trial, conceded, however, that there was no evidence placing Francis on the scene of the 2014 murder and there was no evidence of a conspiracy.

The State has asked the court to convict Francis on a charge of culpable homicide instead.

The State alleges that on October 25, 2014, Francis, 29, Enzorich Kroates, 22, and Clement Kogana, 29, were at the home of Shane Potberg, 34, when a shooting incident occurred.

Following the shooting incident, Francis allegedly gave his official police firearm and several rounds of ammunition to Potberg, a suspected gangster.

At the time, Francis was stationed at Humewood police station.

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The State alleged that the next day, Potberg, Kroates, Kogana and another person drove to Bethelsdorp to “take out” Denton Rademeyer.  

A section 204 witness, Alex Ferreira, who apparently drove the vehicle for Rademeyer’s murder, was meant to testify in the case but was shot and killed last year.

Ferreira’s statement was subsequently ruled inadmissible at the trial.

Francis was subsequently also charged with Ferreira’s murder and is facing charges in a separate case.

The former police officer has admitted to giving his service pistol and a large amount of ammunition to Potberg but claimed that he had nothing to do with the killing.

In his evidence, Francis claimed that he gave the firearm to Potberg for safekeeping.

Potberg was also charged in the case but was shot and killed when gunmen fired into his Dolph Roadhouse in Bethelsdorp in February 2016.

Francis’s co-accused, Kroates and Kogana, were earlier both found not guilty on charges of murder and unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.

African News Agency