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Drug theft behind killings by pit bulls

Kwa-Zulu Natal
Durban – Locals know it is as the “Barnyard”, where Kevin Moodley apparently runs a thriving poultry business. While police have long suspected that the business, operating from a private Phoenix residence, is a front for a drug den, they have never proven this, despite once setting up surveillance operations nearby.

But now they are accusing Moodley of something even more sinister – deliberately setting his pack of pit bulls on two Phoenix friends who met horrific deaths.

The badly disfigured bodies of Nevashin Pillay, 30, and Prince Gumede (age unknown) were found, metres apart, in a stream in the township’s Northcroft suburb on May 4.

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The area where the mauled bodies were found. Picture: POST

One of the men was stabbed as he tried to run away, having watched as his friend was ripped apart by one of three dogs, it is alleged.

The stabbed man met a similar fate.

In dramatic testimony in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court this week, the police investigating officer, in opposing bail for Moodley and his two co-accused, said the deceased were attacked because Moodley suspected them of stealing his drugs.

Moodley, Nicholas Muzenda and Sifiso David Ntuli appeared calm and relaxed as the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Musi Mdletshe, led evidence opposing bail.

They were jubilant when Magistrate Velaraman Kathuravaloo granted bail of R5000 for Moodley and R2000 each for the other two.

Neither Moodley nor his family wanted to comment when approached by POST.

On Monday, Mdletshe told the court that two days after the attack a witness had come forward.

According to Mdletshe, the witness was at Moodley’s home with the two men who died and a few other friends from 2am, smoking drugs.

The area, Kathuravaloo said in summarising the bail evidence, was similar to a “Cuban cigar lounge, where people sat and consumed drugs”.

The court was told that the witness heard Muzenda scream for Moodley, telling him that drugs had been stolen, but that he had not seen the culprits, only the clothing of one of them.

Mdletshe said the witness had told him that Moodley had come into the room where they had been smoking and ordered them to leave because the police were on their way.

But Moodley allegedly asked one man (Gumede) to stay behind. The witness stood outside in Moodley’s yard, the court heard.

Mdletshe said that according to the witness, Gumede had asked his “Indian friend” (Pillay) to wait for him, but Moodley had called the friend inside the house and asked him about the drugs.

The witness said Moodley then searched the Indian man and found his drugs.

Moodley allegedly then told Pillay he would “show him”, adding “all this time you were stealing from me”.

Mdletshe said Moodley had told the witness and other men standing in his yard to leave because police were coming.

They left but the witness stood nearby, smoking again.

He then heard somebody screaming and he stood up to see what was happening.

He thought the police had come, said Mdletshe.He said that, according to the witness, Moodley was holding three dogs on a leash and somebody was lying on the ground.

Moodley ordered one of the dogs, named Black, to bite the Indian man, while Muzenda held the man’s friend.

When Pillay stopped screaming, Moodley then allegedly asked his co-accused, Muzenda, to hold the dogs.

Gumede apparently used this as a chance to escape. But as he tried to flee, Moodley pulled out a knife and stabbed him, the court heard.

Gumede collapsed and Muzenda allegedly ordered the dogs to attack him. He again tried to run, but collapsed a second time by a stream near the house, the court heard.

It is alleged that Muzenda, who was still holding the dogs, ordered them to bite Gumede, which they did until he stopped screaming. Moodley then allegedly told Muzenda to remove Pillay’s body.

Mdletshe, the investigating officer, said the incident had left the community shocked, traumatised and fearful.

In February last year, the mutilated body of a woman, Shantel Pillay, 29, was found in the same stream. Pillay, a known drug addict, had also been mauled by dogs. But, more than a year later, no one has been arrested or charged in relation to her death.

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