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Convicted ex-cop Walter Francis to face separate murder charge

Already convicted on a charge of culpable homicide, a former police officer was dealt a heavy blow on Tuesday when a Port Elizabeth High Court judge allowed the state to reopen a separate murder case in which he has also been implicated shortly before judgment was to have been delivered.
The second case against former police constable Walter Francis, 33, was reopened following an application by the state to do so after new evidence came to light.
Judge Elna Revelas ruled that it would be in the interests of justice to allow the state to reopen the case as the new evidence might influence the outcome of the case.
Last week, Revelas reserved judgment after the state asked to submit two documents, an affidavit by Francis during his formal bail application and transcripts from when the matter was heard in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
“I have considered all submissions . . . it would be in the interest of justice to allow reopening the case,” Revelas said.
Prosecutor advocate Velile Makasana said the state would not lead any oral evidence after Revelas placed it on record that the court had accepted the documents.
Francis’s legal representative, advocate Terry Price SC, said he was not in a position to continue immediately with the matter as the defence had to consider its position.
“This changes a lot of things,” Price said.
Francis, Wayne Wabanie, 25, and Shamiel Gallant, 20, have been charged with the murder of a state witness, Alex-Nico Ferreira, 27.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
Ferreira was shot dead on February 21 2017 after being lured from his home to Bantam Crescent, Bethelsdorp.
Ferreira was a witness in a gang-related murder for which Francis, 33, was found guilty of culpable homicide.
Francis was sentenced to six years in October for his role in the murder of alleged gangster Denton Rademeyer.
Francis’s police firearm was used to kill Rademeyer.
It is alleged that Francis had driven Wabanie and Gallant – in his private car – to the spot where Ferreira was killed.
By agreement between the state and the defence, the matter was postponed to May 31 to allow Revelas to determine if she would be available to hear arguments in the matter in the light of the new evidence during the current court term.

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