Police say Morne Kimber, 33, who was on trial for the murder of Therlo Flandorp, 25, was rushed to Victoria Hospital on Monday following a heart attack and died on Tuesday night.
Kimber was expected to plead guilty to Flandorp’s murder on Wednesday.
The young man died a hero after he used his body to shield a female friend from bullets in Grieta Court on 12 August 2017.
Manenberg Police Station commander, Brigadier Enolium Joseph, says Kimber was a member of the Hard Livings gang, and fled the scene and went on the run for several months.
He was eventually nabbed by the Manenberg Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, and was also connected to two cases of rape and the possession of a firearm and ammunition.
“The cases were before the Wynberg Regional Court where he entered into a plea agreement of guilty, but wanted the courts to consider a ridiculous sentence of eight years imprisonment for all three serious cases,” says Joseph.
He says Kimber showed no remorse for his crimes and detectives felt his deal was an insult to the Manenberg community and their hard work.
“The unit wanted 18 years imprisonment with five years suspended, which meant he would have served 15 years direct imprisonment,” says Joseph.
“The matter was postponed for finality to 20 February 2019, but he fell ill while awaiting trial in prison and was admitted to hospital on Monday.
“He suffered a heart attack and died before his final appearance in court.
“It seems that he succumbed to the pressures of this case and died of a heart attack while receiving medical attention in hospital.”
Therlo’s mom, Sharon, didn’t want to speak to media.
A day after his murder in 2017, she told the Daily Voice about the last time she spoke to her son.
“I still spoke to him on the phone as I was coming home (from work) and he told me he is fine,” she said.
“When the car got here by the veldjie (field), I saw that police tape. And I started shouting because I thought he was alive, but he died after we spoke on the phone.”