Walter Francis is no longer employed by SAPS. FILE PHOTO: Supplied/Facebook

PORT ELIZABETH - The trial involving three men charged with a murder in which an ex-police officer's gun was allegedly used got underway in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday. 

A former police constable, Walter Francis, 29, and alleged gang members Enzorich Kroates, 22, and Clement Kogana, 29, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included murder.

A section 204 witness, Alex Ferreira, who was subsequently shot and killed last year, had allegedly given Kroates, and Kogana a lift in Bethelsdorp during October 2014. 

Kroates and Kogana allegedly opened fire on suspected rival gang member Denton Rademeyer, 24.

Francis, who was stationed at the Humewood crime prevention unit at the time, allegedly provided his official firearm and several rounds of ammunition for the shooting.

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In his plea explanation on Monday, defence advocate Terry Price confirmed the gun used in the killing was Francis’s official police firearm. 

However, Price said Francis had reported the loss of his firearm to the station commander Brigadier Ronald Kohl, a day after Rademeyer was killed in October 2014.

In his plea, Francis further denied having anything to do with the shooting and also denied providing his firearm to the two men who allegedly carried out the hit. 

Meanwhile, Rademeyer‘s aunt Alfreda Arnold testified as a state witness on Monday, saying she “could not sleep at night”.

Arnold told the court how she had been outside her home when Rademeyer accompanied his eight-year-old niece to the shop across the road. 

She recalled seeing a white VW Golf with dark windows traveling at snail's pace. 

She recalled the moment Rademeyer and the little girl came out the shop as she shouted to warn them. “I said there comes a car with the dark windows and immediately shots went off.” 

Arnold said the vehicle traveled towards Rademeyer and she saw how at that moment he pulled the child behind him. 

While shots continued to go off she said she saw the little girl run behind a nearby house and how Rademeyer somersaulted, running back into the shop. He died later. 

The trial continues. 

African News Agency/ANA