An alleged gangster died of a heart attack a day before he was expected to finalise a plea agreement with the State for the murder of a man in Manenberg.
Morne Kimber, who had been in custody, was admitted to hospital over the weekend after he complained that he was ill.
He had a heart attack on Monday and died on Tuesday, acting Manenberg police station commander Colonel Sanele Zama said.
He was accused of killing young father Therlo Flandorp, 25, in August 2017.
"He (Flandorp) wasn't in the line of fire but ran to save another lady and put himself in harm's way," Zama said.
Members of the Manenberg Serious and Violent Crimes Unit eventually arrested Kimber, who also had cases of rape and possession of a firearm and ammunition against him.
"He was in a plea agreement with the State and pleaded guilty but wanted a lesser sentence of eight years [for the cases], which the detectives felt was ridiculous," said Zama.
The unit wanted an 18-year jail term, with five years suspended, meaning he would have served 15 years behind bars.
Kimber was supposed to make his final court appearance on Wednesday.