A bloody end to Teddy Mafia, Chatsworth’s Teflon Don
Durban - The legacy of Yaganathan Pillay, 62, commonly known as Teddy Mafia, came to a bloody end when gunmen shot him dead in his Shallcross home before they were hacked and set alight.
Gory pictures of the death of two men suspected of killing Pillay and the subsequent torching of their bodies were spread over social media networks.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said that at about 2pm the owner of the property known as Teddy Mafia had informed his daughter that he was expecting visitors.
“Upon arrival of the suspects at their home, the daughter proceeded to the back of their property were she heard gun shots. The daughter then established that her father had been shot. The community apprehended both suspects and they set them alight thereafter beheading both of them,” he said.
Naicker added that when police officers arrived the community opened fire at them. Police called in the Public Order Policing Unit who dispersed the crowd with no injuries. Pillay succumbed to his injuries in a Chatsworth hospital.
Naicker said police did not seize any firearms at the scene. Police did not know if the hitmen arrived on foot or were dropped of by a vehicle.
Outraged at the death of Pillay, several people chopped the heads off the two men. The bodies were left outside Pillay’s home at the intersection of Table Mountain and Taurus Street. Rubble, tree branches and planks were placed on them and they were set alight. When police attempted to extinguish the fire bricks and stones were aimed at them.
Police were still investigating the cause of a feud that claimed the lives of seven people including a tavern owner, a warden and three others in Shallcross in March 2020. Pillay’s son Devendren Lionel Pillay, 38, known as Bigz, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Shallcross in that incident.
Pillay was loved and despised by the Chatsworth community. The Shallcross community, which benefited from his charity including food parcels, were in mourning on Tuesday.
Pillay’s family watched from the home as the flames grew larger over the bodies of the hitmen while some could be heard screaming “Viva Mafia Viva!” . The wailing of women blared through the area. Some could be heard saying “My Brother, my brother,” as they passed through the police cordon tapes. Relatives used their advantage of being inside Pillay’s property to taunt and swear at the police officers.
Investigators searched for clues, searched several cars and people in the nearby vicinity. Police said by burning the suspected hitmen, vital evidence had been lost. One resident remarked “who cares”, and that police“ will never solve the case in any case”.
While others stood in solidarity with Pillay, a resident who did not want to be named said he hoped that nobody took over from him and the drug trade diminished.
“Better the devil you know. He was not an outright bad person. He never turned anyone away who came for assistance. His legacy is over,” he said.
Chatsworth police are investigating three dockets of murder.
Chatsworth Community Policing Forum spokesperson Jakes Singh declined to comment, saying it was a sensitive issue.
Shallcross Crime Forum spokesperson Mahendra Lillkan said the loss of any life is tragic. He was confident the SAPS would work around the clock to ensure that those responsible were brought to book.