'Our husbands are not Bloods gang bosses'
Durban - The family of two brothers alleged to be behind the Bloods gang in Phoenix, who are awaiting trial for allegedly operating a drug cartel in Durban, have lashed out at what they say is a concerted campaign to discredit them and their legitimate businesses.
They say that the business rivals of Kevin and Kalvin Periasamy – who own taxis and tow trucks in Phoenix – are behind the series of police raids at their properties, and the alleged seizure of drugs and money.
Kevin, 36 and Kalvin, 29, and four others are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
They were arrested in January after the police raided one of their properties in Phoenix. Police Minister Bheki Cele and several high-ranking officers went to the house where a large amount of cash and drugs was shown to the media.
The brothers were initially held at Westville Correctional Services but were transferred to the Ebongweni Super Max Correctional Services in Kokstad due to fears that they were plotting to escape.
The police claim they head a group called the Bloods gang.
However, their sister Melissa Misra, Kevin’s wife Desiree and Kalvin’s wife Jearldine, denied they were involved in drug dealing or that the Bloods gang even existed.
In an interview with the Daily News, they said the brothers were legitimate businessmen running mini-bus taxis, tow trucks, a panel-beating business, a pawn shop and a salon.
They say some of the businesses had closed since their arrest. Both wives said they were debt-ridden after the police seized their assets.
"There is no such thing as a Bloods gang," Misra said.
Asked to explain why some of those arrested had the word 'Bloodz' tattooed on their chest, she said that some people liked body art and pointed to the fact that her brothers did not have tattoos with the word Bloodz.
She explained that their taxi had the word Bloodz on it because they were designed to reflect hip-hop culture.
They said they had the support of their neighbours as well as their church. They said they were Christians and even the men's pastor had been to court when they appeared.
"Bloodz on the taxis also represents the blood of Jesus," Desiree said.
Jearldine said Kalvin had not been arrested on drug-related charges and that he was facing charges of crimen injuria and obstructing the ends of justice, which she thought were minor charges for him to be in awaiting-trial detention for 11 months.
“They claim to have brought up previous charges, none of which have been put to the court. This is a great injustice. He was never charged or convicted for being in possession or dealing in drugs. He runs legitimate businesses,” she said.
Kalvin has an 11-year-old boy and 7-year-old daughter, while Kevin has two girls and a boy between the ages of 10 and 19.