Durban - Alleged drug dealers Kasan Naidoo and Yaganathan Pillay, popularly known as “Teddy Mafia”, smiled as a Pinetown magistrate granted them bail at a lower amount than agreed to with the State.
Wearing a black bomber jacket, red T-shirt, tracksuit pants and sandals, 36-year-old Naidoo gave the packed gallery, filled with family and supporters, a thumbs-up as he walked back to the holding cells on Thursday.
The pair, who live in Shallcross, were arrested last Friday in Pinetown, allegedly in possession of about R1.8 million worth of drugs and various firearms, including a Beretta 6.35 pistol and a home-made gun.
Naidoo and Pillay, 58, indicated through their legal counsel, senior advocate Gideon Scheltema, who was instructed by attorney Carl van der Merwe, that they intended to plead not guilty to the multiple counts of dealing in drugs and possession of unlicensed firearms.
Senior State advocate Sasha Jacobs told magistrate Terrence Buthelezi that the State was unopposed to bail, saying the matter had been discussed with the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, who believed the men were not flight risks.
She said the State had agreed on a bail amount with the defence.
Reading their affidavits to the court, Scheltema said Naidoo was married with four children, self-employed and had no previous convictions or pending cases before the court.
Naidoo’s immediate and extended family raised an amount of R150 000 for bail.
Scheltema said Naidoo agreed to report to Malvern police station daily and believed his client would be safe should he be released on bail.
Pillay, a married father of six, had previous convictions dating back to the 1970s for dealing in alcohol, driving without a licence and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Pillay, dressed in jeans, socks and sandals, a white T-shirt and green bomber jacket, said he had a pending case in the Durban Regional Court for dealing in drugs.
It was reported that R5 million worth of drugs were found in his home during a police raid in January 2013.
Supporters were often bused to the Durban Regional Court for these appearances wearing T-shirts with Pillay’s face and the words “The People’s Champion” emblazoned on it.
Scheltema told the court that Pillay was a sick man who suffered from high blood pressure and asthma and required medication for his condition.
He also said Pillay was employed as a manager and could afford R300 000 bail.
In granting the men bail, the magistrate said he did not agree with the conditions agreed to and said Naidoo was granted R100 000 and Pillay R200 000 bail.
They must report every Friday to the Chatsworth police station and hand over their passports to the investigating officer.
The matter was adjourned until February 27 for further investigation.