Port Elizabeth - Following months of intensive investigations into the killing of a state witness, a Port Elizabeth police officer has been arrested on a charge of murder.
Ten months after Alex Ferreira was gunned down in Bethelsdorp and left for dead, a police constable was arrested for his murder on Thursday.
Ferreira, 28, was meant to testify in a gang-related murder trial in which a policeman’s gun was allegedly used.
He was scheduled to testify as a Section 204 witness, which means that at the end of the trial he could have been granted immunity for his wrongdoing if the court deemed him a forthright and honest witness.
Ferreira was not in the State's witness protection programme and was visiting family when he was shot and killed in February this year.
The murder trial in which a policeman’s gun was allegedly used has yet to get underway in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
The men charged in that case include Constable Walter Francis, 31, and alleged gang members Enzorich Kroates, 22, and Clement Kogana, 29.
Ferreira had given Kroates, and Kogana a lift in October 2014, when they 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.
Francis still serves with the South African Police Service and his legal team includes well known Port Elizabeth Advocate Terry Price SC.
According to papers before court, during October 2014, Constable Francis, Kroates and Kogana were together as friends at the home of Shane Potberg, 34, shortly before the shooting incident occurred.
The State alleges that Potberg, Kroates, Kogana, and another person drove to Bethelsdorp to take out Rademeyer. Court documents cite 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 sustained.
Alleged Up Stand Dogs gang member, Potberg, was subsequently killed when a gunman fired into his Dolph Road house in Bethelsdorp last year.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that a police constable has been arrested for the murder of a state witness.
The cop allegedly teamed up with wellknown gang members in executing the killing of Ferreira in February.
“Much as there are men and women within the police who strive for high ethical standards and moral values in the conduct of their daily duties, there are, however, rotten apples within the system who engage or associate with criminal activities,” said Naidu.
Naidu said the police constable is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of murder.