Western Province cricketer Luke Fairweather was a caring and loving friend, an inquest into his violent death heard in Cape Town on Thursday.
This was the testimony of motor neuron disease sufferer Jeremy Hindley (68) during the proceedings in the Wynberg District Court in Cape Town.
He said Fairweather wanted to look after him.
Fairweather died in January last year, in a confrontation with City of Cape Town senior traffic officer Ian Sinclair.
They clashed over the issue of a traffic ticket issued to Fairweather's ailing mother, Margaret, at Newlands Cricket Stadium.
The purpose of an inquest is to establish the cause if someone has died an unnatural death, and to determine whether anyone should be held criminally liable for the death. If the inquest rules someone responsible, the findings are forwarded to the prosecuting authorities, who decide whether to prosecute or not.
Hindley, in a wheelchair, told the inquest he had been watching cricket that day with Fairweather, while Hindley's wife went to a wedding. Fairweather's mother picked them up later that afternoon.
Earlier evidence was that when Fairweather's mother arrived to fetch them, she parked unlawfully near the entrance to the stadium, for Hindley's convenience. Sinclair then gave her a parking ticket.
The mother told the inquest that she was not given an opportunity to explain the reason for her unlawful parking, and that she felt seriously offended by Sinclair's attitude.
Hindley said Luke Fairweather approached Sinclair to discuss the ticket, while he and Fairweather's mother waited in the car.
"Luke came back to the car, and got in behind the wheel. We were ready to drive off, when there was a commotion at the driver's window.
"Sinclair was standing at the driver's window, and Luke burst out of the car to confront Sinclair," Hindley said.
"They moved rapidly to the back of our car, out of my vision, and there were clear sounds of an altercation building up. All I could hear was a voice shouting 'pull it, pull it then, pull it', which meant there was a weapon involved and the phrase 'pull it' referred to a trigger.
"The next thing, there were two men moving like gorillas in a bear-hug, rapidly towards a hatchback car nearby. They hit the back of the hatchback car very hard, hard enough to smash the rear window of the car and dent the rear door.
"Just after that there was the sound of a shot, and they were still clasped together in the bear-hug. It was obvious that Luke had been shot, and I saw him slide slowly down towards the ground."
Hindley said someone telephoned his wife for him, to let her know what had happened, and to return to them instead of going to the wedding.
He added: "I went to Luke to have a quick hand clasp with him, and to reassure him that everything was going to be okay. By then, medical attention had arrived, and they were attending to Luke in a professional fashion."
Questioned by attorney William Booth, representing the Fairweather family, Hindley said he had motor neuron disease, but that he had been much stronger in his legs at the time. He could still walk.
He said Western Province Cricket had invited Fairweather to the stadium that day, "and he was tickled to bits about it".
"They had also just given him the job to coach the juniors, and he was very chuffed about that also", he said.
The hearing continues.