DURBAN - A Durban man is determined to fight for justice after his father, 46, was doused with petrol and set alight over an alleged theft in Phoenix last week.

Durrell Singh said he would continue to fight until all those responsible for his father’s death had been arrested.

So far, four people, including two police officers, have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Seelan Pillay, a former SANDF officer, died in a Phoenix hospital after suffering extensive burns. It is alleged that Pillay was doused with fuel and set alight. According to Singh, his father was picked up from where he had been living in Redfern and taken to Berry- stone Road where the ordeal occurred.

“I received a call from my aunt to tell me that my father was taken to hospital. The men who told her about my father claimed that he’d been trying to light a cigarette and ended up burning himself,” he said.

Durrell said when he got to the hospital, he was horrified by what he saw. “My father had extensive burns all over his body. The police officers who spoke to him at the hospital were very rude and demanded a statement from my father, who was heavily sedated.

“They were getting frustrated and told me they were going to leave. My father was given morphine for the pain, I was trying as best I could to interpret what he was saying,” Singh said.

He said he was concerned that his father had been picked up by police officers, allegedly without obtaining a warrant.

Singh claimed that Pillay was also never officially arrested, nor was he taken to the Phoenix police station, adding that the incident had left him questioning the motives of the police officers.

A Facebook page, Justice for ex-Navy Officer Seelan Pillay, was also started.

South African Indian Legion spokesperson Leon Subban said they supported the call for justice.

“His comrades from the South African Indian Legion strongly oppose the bail application by the alleged perpetrators.

“It’s rumoured that obstacles are being placed in the way of the investigation. We’ll pursue this matter at all levels within government departments until justice is served,” he said.

Police confirmed that a case of kidnapping and attempted murder had been opened at the Phoenix police station. However, the charge of attempted murder had been changed to murder after Pillay’s death.

Police declined to comment further, saying the matter was now being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

The accused appeared briefly in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court yesterday and were remanded for further investigation.