According to reliable sources, who did not want to be named, Alex Ferreira, 28, was meant to testify in the murder trial as a Section 204 witness, which means that at the end of the trial he could have been granted immunity for his wrong-doing if the court deemed him a forthright and honest witness.
The trial is set to take place at the Port Elizabeth High Court and involves Constable Walter Francis, 29, alleged gang members Enzorich Kroates, 22, and Clement Kogana, 29. Ferreira was gunned down just over a week ago in Bethelsdorp. Police have arrested to people following his alleged murder.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Indra Goberdan, confirmed that Ferreira was a State witness and said that his passing was unfortunate.
"I can confirm that he was a state witness, other evidence can certainly be used in terms of the criminal procedure act where we may be able to lead his evidence. There are other avenues which can be used," said Goberdan.
When asked, Goberdan said that Ferreira was not in the NPA's witness protection programme. During court proceedings on Friday, State Advocate Jason Thysse, indicated that the prosecution had decided to continue with the case.
"In view of certain things, it's been decided that the prosecution will continue. We are looking for a trial date," said Thysse. The case was postponed until March 10, for a trial date to be finalised. According to papers before court on October 25, 2014, Constable Francis, Kroates and Kogana were together as friends at the home of Shane Potberg, 34, when a shooting incident occurred.
Following the shooting incident, Francis gave his official police firearm and several rounds of ammunition to Potberg. At the time of the alleged crime Francis was stationed at Humewood Police Station. He still serves within the South African Police Service and his legal team includes well known Port Elizabeth Advocate Terry Price SC.
The State alleges that on October 26, 2014, Potberg, Kroates, Kogana and another person drove to Bethelsdorp to take out Denton Rademeyer. Court documents state that Rademeyer was pinpointed inside a house shop in the company of an eight-year old girl. As the pair crossed the road a drive by shooting was set in motion.
The State alleges that Potberg, Kroates and Kogana drove closer and fired several shots at Rademeyer who died as a result of gunshot wounds. Rademeyer's death was reportedly part of a deadly feud between rival gangs. Alleged Up Stand Dogs gang member, Potberg, was subsequently killed when a gunman fired into his Dolph Road house in Bethelsdorp during February last year.