Trial of PE ex-cop accused of killing State witness kicks off

Ex-cop Walter Francis, who has already been convicted of culpable homicide in a separate case, is appearing on a murder charge involving the death of a State witness in the Port Elizabeth High Court, 11 February 2019. Picture: Facebook

Ex-cop Walter Francis, who has already been convicted of culpable homicide in a separate case, is appearing on a murder charge involving the death of a State witness in the Port Elizabeth High Court, 11 February 2019. Picture: Facebook

Walter Francis denied any knowledge of Alex Ferreira’s killing in 2017 and claimed that he only heard about the shooting through his mother.

Former Port Elizabeth Constable Walter Francis and his co-accused pleaded not guilty in the Port Elizabeth High Court today on charges of murder of a State witness.

Francis is charged alongside Wayne Wabanie and Shamiel Gallant for the murder of Alex Ferreira, who was scheduled to testify as a Section 204 witness in a separate gang-related murder case, in which Francis’s gun was used.

In that case, which concluded in October last year, Francis was convicted on a charge of culpable homicide but acquitted on a murder charge. He is currently serving a six-year jail sentence.

The trio pleaded not guilty to charges which include conspiracy to commit murder, murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

During February 2017 Ferreira was gunned down in Bethelsdorp and left for dead. He was visiting family at the time and was not in protective custody.

According to the State, Francis allegedly used his own vehicle to drive Wabanie and Gallant to execute Ferreira.

In his plea explanation, Francis denied a friendship with his co-accused and further denied driving the men in his vehicle.

He denied any knowledge of Ferreira’s killing and claimed that he only heard about the shooting through his mother.

Francis also denied knowledge of a person who allegedly lured Ferreira from his home.

Legal representation for Wabanie and Gallant both indicated that their defence would be that of an alibi.

The trial continues.

African News Agency (ANA)

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