Witness tells of fatal shooting at gathering after funeral
Harrowing testimony of how a group of people gathered to mourn the death of a friend were shot at – leaving two dead and four wounded – at a house in Schauderville in an alleged gang-related hit was heard in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday.
Bradley Berges, 23, of Schauderville, and Given Cornelius, 27, of Booysen Park – alleged members of the Spotbouers gang – have been charged with the murder of Reagan Russell and Regan Fourie, no ages given, as well as the attempted murder of four others.
This is after they allegedly opened fire on a group of people following the funeral of Keith Bowkers, 32 – an alleged member of the Dustlife gang – on November 4 2017.
Family members and friends had gathered at Bowkers’ mother’s house after a service for Bowkers, who died on October 28 2017 from an undisclosed illness in prison.
On Wednesday, a family member who is in witness protection after receiving death threats, told the court that at about 9pm on the day of the shooting she was sitting in the lounge when she heard shots being fired outside.
“At first I thought it was firecrackers because it was near Guy Fawkes [November 5], but then I realised it was not firecrackers but gunshots.
“I could hear people starting to scream they had been shot.
“I went out the front door and I saw four sparks [allegedly from a firearm being fired].
“When I got to the door [someone] came to tell me Reagan [Russell] had been shot and was lying in the back,” the family member said.
She said she went to the back of the house to see Russell lying between a car and the wall of the house.
“I got there to where Reagan [Russell] was lying and he was not responding.”
She then ran to her neighbour across the road to tell them what had happened.
“I went out again and said to my sister’s children, my own and the people standing there to take him to hospital.
“[When we arrived at Livingstone Hospital] the nurses examined him and then took him behind curtains – then I knew he had passed away.”
When she arrived back home later she was informed that Fourie had also been shot dead.
“I don’t know what the reason was that someone came and fired shots there.“All I can think of is that [Bowkers] was involved with gangsters.”She said after the shooting she received threats including a message sent to a friend that said she would be next.A friend of Russell’s, who was at the gathering after Bowkers’ funeral and who was shot in the leg, Cherejane Hufkie, testified that she was in the garage with at least 10 others when she heard shots.“I got up, but was shot and fell to the ground and crawled to the back,” Hufkie said.Hufkie told the court it was dark outside and she could not see the shooters.Berges and Cornelius have pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, four of attempted murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.She received threats including a message sent to a friend that she would be next