A police officer drove the vehicle which was used during the murder of a state witness, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.
Ten months ago Alex Ferreira was gunned down in Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth and left for dead. Two weeks ago police Constable Walter Francis was arrested and charged with Ferreira’s murder.
Francis is charged alongside Sameal Gallant and Wayne Wabanie, who allegedly shot and killed Ferreira. Ferreira was scheduled to testify in another murder case in which the Port Elizabeth police officer’s gun was allegedly used.
Francis applied for bail at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s court on Thursday and claimed that there was no motive for him to kill Ferreira and he had never had direct contact with the man. Through his attorney, Braam Greyling, Francis said he was innocent and intended to plead not guilty to the charge.
The police officer also claimed that he was not aware of the identity of any witnesses. Meanwhile, State prosecutor Liezel Landman opposed bail and read out a statement made by the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Neville Gouws. According to the State, Francis used his own vehicle to transport the shooters to Bethelsdorp where Ferreira was shot and killed in broad daylight.
“The State has evidence that he [Francis] was part of the planning and executing the murder of a state witness. He [Francis] was willing to be part of an assassination of a witness a day before that trial,” the statement read.
Landman said that Francis had a direct hand in the murder of the State witness in that he transported the shooters to carry out the killing.
“It was in the middle of the day in a public space, they will not think twice and have no regard for bystanders. He has two murder cases against him. He is part and parcel of violence whether he supplied the gun or pulled the trigger,” said Landman.
Landman added that Francis had no respect for bail conditions previously imposed on him in a 2014 murder case. Magistrate Sanjani Naidoo will deliver her judgment in the bail application next week Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in the case before the Port Elizabeth High Court, Francis, 31 is charged alongside alleged gang members Enzorich Kroates, 22, and Clement Kogana, 29.
The trial is set to get underway in May next year. During October 2014, Ferreira had given Kroates and Kogana a lift when they allegedly opened fire on suspected rival gang member Denton Rademeyer. Francis allegedly supplied his official police firearm for the shooting.
– African News Agency (ANA)