Why was 'Teddy Mafia' still out there despite being 'known drug dealer'? Bheki Cele asks

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Bheki Cele, minister of police.
Bheki Cele, minister of police.
Netwerk24
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele has questioned why drug lord Yaganathan Pillay was never successfully prosecuted. 
  • Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, was shot dead in his house in Shallcross, Durban.
  • Residents apprehended two men who were believed to have killed him and both men were shot.

Police Minister Bheki Cele questioned why Yaganathan Pillay, also known as Teddy Mafia, was still out in the streets even though he was "a known gangster and a drug dealer".

Pillay was shot twice in the head at his home in Shallcross in Durban on Monday afternoon. He was taken to hospital in a private vehicle but succumbed to his injuries.

Residents apprehended two men who were believed to have killed him. Both men were then shot, according to eThekwini Metro Police spokesperson, Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, before their bodies were dragged to the middle of a street, decapitated and set alight.

During an eNCA interview on Tuesday, while monitoring Covid-10 hotspots in the Western Cape, Cele said: "I still have a question that I raised with the police that if this guy was known to be a known gangster and a drug dealer, why was he still out there? This is what the community and all of us are calling to say. Don't deal with these small fish. Don't deal with the men on the street. Deal with the real guy."

Pillay was killed less than a year after his son Devendren was killed in a drive-by shooting, in which a female bystander was also killed.

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

He was arrested in April 2020 and appeared in the Chatsworth Magistrate's Court. 

At the time, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker called the arrests a "breakthrough" in their efforts to tackle the gang and drug turf war.

Police also raided Pillay's home and seized four firearms - a rifle, shotgun, pistol and revolver.

According to The Post, Naicker said two of the firearms were licensed and seized for further analysis.

Almost R700 000 in cash, and gold and silver coins valued at an estimated R250 000 were also found, and five cellphones were confiscated.

In January 2013, he and his son were arrested after a police raid at their home in Shallcross, near Chatsworth, City Press reported at the time.

Officers discovered bags which reportedly contained large amounts of heroin.

In 2016, IOL reported that Pillay and another man had been arrested, in alleged possession of about R1.8 million worth of drugs and various firearms, including a Beretta 6.35 pistol and a homemade gun.

- Compiled by Jeanette Chabalala

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