Alleged drug kingpin Teddy Mafia’s family say they are receiving death threats
DURBAN – THE family of slain Shallcross resident Yaganathan Pillay, 62, also known as Teddy Mafia, are still receiving death threats via social media.
Pillay, an alleged drug kingpin, was shot in his home by two men he told the family were friends on Monday afternoon. His death will be immortalised through videos and images, circulating worldwide, of the subsequent beheading of the two alleged hitmen outside his Taurus Street home. They were then set alight under a pile of planks and car tyres.
On Tuesday, a one-minute video clip circulated on social media with the lyrics of Tupac Shakur’s song Hit Em Up in the background. Text on the video detailed who is next in line to get killed, alongside profane language.
One of the men referred to is Isaac, Pillay’s son-in-law. The clip included many pictures of Pillay and his crew and a young boy holding a rifle with the words, “Isaac don’t send your son to do your dirty work”.
The clip ends with the words “this is how we coming for you your p****” and a video of a gun firing into the side window of a car.
The question now is whether this video will become a reality. Seven other people have died in Shallcross due to a faction fight between two groups.
Pillay’s daughter Naveshnie Terrisa Chunder said her father was unusually happy the weekend and before his death on Monday.
“He kept repeating that his friends were coming to visit and wanted to know if we had cold drinks ready.”
When the men arrived, Pillay invited them into the yard. Despite armed guards surrounding his premises, Pillay told the guards not to search the men because they were his friends.
“I was in the lounge when I heard a bang. I ran outside and saw my father hanging off the chair. He had been shot in the face. The men were sitting across him. They were just looking at him bleeding. They kept repeating we did not do it,” she said.
Pillay’s relatives bundled him into a car and rushed him to Life Chatsmed Garden Hospital, where he died. Chunder said once news of her father’s death broke out there was chaos. She said people began screaming, and in the rage got hold of the two men.
“He was a good person. He never turned away anyone who needed assistance. He planned on opening a drug rehabilitation centre in the area. He donated to several organisations and schools in Durban. He also had a daily feeding scheme outside our home. He ate brown bread and drank black tea. He lived a simple life. He had a hard life growing up. He did not drink alcohol or smoke,” Chunder said.
Pillay spent the festive season putting up murals outside his home of Hindu deities and his son Devendren Lionel Pillay, 38, who was known as Bigz. He was murdered in Shallcross in March 2020.
His wife Susan Pillay confirmed Isaac was her son-in-law and said she had not seen the video because she was more focused on the funeral. She did not want to become upset. Pillay said they had received deaths threats that her grandchildren were next, and also that someone was out to kidnap the women from the house.
“Teddy told me in the past to ignore these death threats and videos,” she said.
Chunder suspected her father was murdered by a group of people from Chatsworth. She also blamed it on deep-rooted corruption in the police service. Chunder said someone on the Made in Chatsworth Facebook group had asked if Teddy Mafia was still alive on Monday morning. The family also distanced itself from ordering the beheading and setting alight of the two men. They said the community had reacted in anger.
“People that cannot come up in life brought him down. People spreading false rumours to tarnish my father’s reputation. It all boils down to greed and jealousy. We know who might be behind the murder. It started over some cheap women. If the police did their job investigating the source of the videos and death threat messages, eight people would not have lost their lives,” Chunder said.
Pillay rose to fame after his alleged involvement in the murder of two men at the Shallcross sports grounds 36 years ago. Pillay was born in Mayville and moved to Shallcross in the 1970s. He had three sons, three daughters and 10 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were being made. Chunder said they were awaiting post-mortem results.
Police sources said it was too early to tell who might have ordered a hit on Pillay. The two men who were killed had not been identified. Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said three cases of murder were being investigated.