Advocate Vernon Jantjies, 54, was shot dead outside a shop at the BP Garage at the Clocktower in Mitchells Plain on Sunday at 9.40pm.
The gunmen shot 13 bullets into Jantjies’ face before fleeing the scene in a car.
The father of six had just locked up the linen shop he owns at Clocktower in Lentegeur and was chatting to a relative who was filling up their car at the garage.
As he walked away from the car, gunmen in a car approached him and opened fire.
Witnesses say more than 15 shots were fired, mostly in Jantjies’ face, before the shooters drove off.
The relative ran to him where he lay in a pool of blood in front of a silver Mercedes-Benz, surrounded by shocked bystanders.
A video of the scene made by a bystander and shared on social media scene shows people stopping a skollie from robbing Jantjies as he lay dead.
Jantjies had been representing suspected drug kingpin Fadwaan “Vet” Murphy who is currently on trial for drug dealing, fraud and other charges.
Murphy, the alleged leader of the Dixie Boys gang, lives in Lentegeur and is out on bail.
On Sunday, Murphy, as well as former Hard Livings gang boss Rashied Staggie, were spotted at the murder scene.
Western Cape police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, said: “It is alleged that at 9.40pm, the deceased had just stepped out of a shop at a garage in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, when several shots were fired at him. He died on the scene.
“The deceased had previously worked for the Department of Justice in the Khayelitsha area.”
Two other people were reportedly injured in the shooting and had to be rushed to nearby hospitals, but police could not confirm this.
The Anti-Gang Unit has been tasked to investigate the murder. Police say the motive for the killing is not yet known.
More than 15 cartridges were found at the scene while cops have also obtained CCTV video footage to help in the investigation.
It is suspected that the murder was a targeted hit.
Jantjies was one of several legal eagles known for defending clients with links to organised crime.
In October last year, big shot lawyer Pete Mihalik’s name was reportedly on a hit list before he was assassinated.
He had received death threats a day before he was gunned down outside his children’s larney school in Green Point.
His murder came a week ahead of the trial of alleged underworld kingpins Nafiz Modack and Colin Booysen in the Cape Town Regional Court.
Last week, the Western Cape High Court heard that there was still a struggle to find lawyers for two of the accused hitmen, Sizwe Biyela and Nkosinathi Khumalo.
The duo appeared with Vuyile Maliti before Judge Mushtak Parker for their pre-trial hearing.
In May this year, criminal attorney David Mbazwana was shot dead at a spaza shop in Khayelitsha in what looked like a robbery.
Mbazwana, 38, was one of the lawyers for Grant Veroni, of the company Skhosana Maponyane Hall Phillips and Khumalo, trading as The Security Group (TSG).
TSG is the company of Modack and Colin Booysen, who authorities accuse of trying to violently take over the local nightclub security industry.
In November 2016, attorney Noorudien Hassan, who worked with Mihalik and was linked to high-profile gang cases, was shot dead in his car outside his Lansdowne home.
On Monday, family, friends and colleagues in the police and legal fraternity described Jantjies as a “gentlemen who helped everyone” and “expected you to do your best”.
At the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court, Jantjies had presided over the case of alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield.
Stanfield and 22 co-accused faced 109 charges which included murder, assault and drug dealing.
Last year, Jantjies joined Murphy’s panel of defence lawyers.
Murphy, his ex-wife Shafieka Murphy, his sister Glenda Bird, as well as Dominic Davidson, Leon Paulsen and Desmond Jacobs are facing 229 charges relating to money laundering, drug dealing and racketeering.
The matter was on the Western Cape High Court roll yesterday, but had to be postponed to 17 December.
A family member who asked not to be identified says they want to remember Jantjies as they had known him - a good man who dedicated his life to improving the lives of others.
The relative said Jantjies had six children from two marriages, “his youngest child being just a few months old”.