Durban - Tears and alcohol flowed at the memorial service for one of Durban’s most notorious gangsters Sandile “Chillies” Bhengu on Wednesday.
The service was characterised by dancing, loud music and motorbikes being revved to the joy of hundreds of people who had gathered at Umlazi’s M section.
As the revelry happened inside the hall, SA police and Metro police who were deployed outside kept a close eye on events.
Umlazi’s main roads had police searching cars that were suspicious.
Bhengu, 36, died last week after being shot by police. He was allegedly caught stealing a car when he was shot.
Mbuso Mazibuko, a friend of Bhengu said he saddened by his friend’s death.
Mazibuko described his friend as someone who was well respected.
Remembering the last conversation they had, Mazibuko said he and Bhengu were discussing business ideas as his friend was tired of being a criminal.
Another friend who asked not to be named said Bhengu’s most endearing quality was his constant laughter and being a people's person. “He loved going out” he said.
The man said the main reason Bhengu became a criminal in the first place was because he was poor. “Growing up with a single mother is not easy. You see other children who had both parents and could afford to buy nice things and you also wanted to have these things” he said.
Bhengu is to be buried this weekend at Wentworth cemetery.