Alleged drug lord Teddy Mafia buried in R300K 'diamond-encrusted' coffin

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Teddy Mafia, alleged Durban drug kingpin.
Teddy Mafia, alleged Durban drug kingpin.
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  • Alleged drug kingpin Yaganathan "Teddy Mafia" Pillay was buried on Thursday.
  • Crowds shouted "Viva, Mafia, viva," as the hearse made its way through Shallcross. 
  • Mafia's "diamond-encrusted" coffin reportedly cost R300 000. 

"Viva, Mafia, viva," was the cry of residents as the "diamond-encrusted" coffin of drug kingpin Yaganathan Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, made its way down the streets of Shallcross in Durban at his funeral on Thursday. 

Pillay was shot and killed on Monday at his home in Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal. He died en route to the hospital.

The two men who were believed to have killed him were captured - allegedly by community members - shot, decapitated and set alight.  

His coffin, which was carried by men wearing matching white T-shirts that bore images of his face, was accompanied by bagpipe players. The coffin reportedly cost R300 000.  

According to TimesLIVE there was a heavy presence of police officers at the funeral, who encouraged mourners to adhere to social-distancing protocols. Funerals are supposed to be attended by no more than 50 people under the current lockdown regulations. 

Speakers at the funeral described him as a generous man who was always willing to help the community. A woman, identified as Pillay's niece, said he had a "heart of gold" and that he should not be judged for his actions.

READ | Teddy Mafia's love-hate relationship - the violent past of Shallcross' 'go-to guy'

"To me and other people, my uncle was an extraordinary human being. He was not perfect. He did have his faults and failures like the rest of us," she said. 

At the time of his death, Pillay was charged with the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. He was arrested at his home last April and police seized R700 000 cash. Police also found gold and silver coins worth an estimated R250 000. 

ALSO READ | Teddy Mafia revenge murders: Violent retribution seen as 'Robin Hood' deeds by some

- Compiled by Tebogo Monama

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