Nazar Loonat is a community activist who fights against all substance abuse in the community in Lenasia. 
Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips
Johannesburg - Every day for the past three weeks, Brandon Naidoo has had to walk past the man who allegedly murdered his father.

It’s hard to avoid him - they live just 100m apart.

“It breaks my heart to know that the man who murdered my father is living freely like nothing has happened,” says Naidoo. “He laughs and carries on with life, while we battle to get through each day without our father.”

Three weeks ago, his father, Derick was shot a few metres from their home in Gladioli Avenue in Lenasia Ext 2.

He was rushed to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where he underwent six hours of surgery before he died.

His alleged killer, Malcolm Pillay, who lives five doors away from his victim’s family, was arrested after the incident but released on R5 000 bail shortly afterwards, according to police.

Youngsters from Naidoo’s family and the alleged perpetrator’s families were reportedly involved in an altercation before their fathers got involved.

“I was watching TV round about 8pm, when one of the community members came to tell me my younger brother was having a fight on the corner with Malcolm’s youngest son,” said Naidoo.

“I went to see what was going on, and I too was assaulted. My father had just got back from work and he heard about what was happening and rushed to the scene.

“He asked Malcolm what had happened, and without saying anything Malcolm pulled out a gun and shot my father at point-blank range. He collapsed to the ground. We couldn’t believe what had just happened.”

The death of his father has brought despair and heartache. “It’s hard to accept that my father is gone and he’s never coming back,” says the 20-year-old.

“He was the breadwinner. He did everything for us. We’re really struggling without him. I haven’t been able to continue my studies because I am still traumatised.

“How is this man able to walk free when he has murdered someone? My family are terrified of even leaving the house now knowing that this man is roaming the streets.

“We can’t leave the house without seeing him and so we have avoided going outside.”

He hopes justice will take its course. Naidoo also claims that Pillay has previously threatened him.

“A few years ago, Malcolm pointed a gun at me and shot right past me in front of my house. The bullet grazed my arm. He’s been terrorising my family and the community for a very long time.”

Derick’s wife Pearl described her husband as a “hardworking and humble” man.

“He never fought with anyone. He always communicated with people when he needed to sort things out. He was a good person; he was always helping the people around him.It’s not very easy to deal with his death. He was always here for us; he did everything in the house.”

Pearl is furious that Pillay is out on bail. “We can’t move forward knowing the man who killed my husband is free.

“My life came crumbling down the day my husband died. Yet the man who killed my husband carries on with his life like nothing happened.”

Police have confirmed that this is not the first time that Pillay has been arrested. In 2011, he was nabbed for drug trafficking and was found guilty and convicted to five months in prison, or a R2500 fine.

The Naidoo family claim Pillay is one of the “biggest drug lords” in Lenasia, and has been operating on Gladioli Avenue for several years.

“Not only does he sell drugs but he also sells unlicensed firearms. And because the police are corrupt and paid off, he never gets arrested,” said Naidoo.

“People fear him and his family, and so they go about doing whatever they want to whenever they want too.

Gladioli Avenue is recognised as one of Lenasia’s most notorious streets, because of its severe drug problem.

Community drug activist Nazar Loonat says he, too, is aware that Pillay has been dealing in drugs for “several years”.

“He’s a convicted drug dealer; there is no two ways about it, and because he is a drug lord, he is able to influence police through his corrupt activities.

“He (Malcolm) has several cases against him but nothing ever happens to this man. He is ruining the community.”

Pastor Napier, a religious leader, who did not want to reveal his full name, hopes that law enforcement will come down hard on Pillay.

“A life was taken from this community. The question now is: who will be next? I cannot understand why this man was released on bail when he killed someone.

“Why don’t investigators go back and do research before they release anyone? This man has plenty of charges against him.

“We’re appealing to the National Prosecuting Authority and the courts to be tough with cases like this. We can’t set an example by releasing murderers into the public eye.”

Lenasia police spokesperson Captain Hector Netshivodza confirmed that Pillay was released on R5000 bail and would appear in court again on October 13.

Saturday Star