Beheaded men once worked for Teddy Mafia, says witness
Durban - The two men who were shot, beheaded and set alight had worked for alleged drug lord Yaganathan Pillay, also known as Teddy Mafia, until they switched loyalties. This was according to a witness to this week’s triple killing in Shallcross, Durban, which gained national attention.
Vu Ndlovu, 32, had known Teddy Mafia for almost 12 years. Ndlovu claimed he initially bought drugs from him but also worked as a runner. He was in one of the flats opposite Teddy Mafia’s mansion on Monday when he heard the gunshots.
“We heard gunshots and thought, well, Teddy was being his usual self because he had a habit of firing shots in the air after having a few glasses of whisky. We rushed out when we heard people screaming. The next thing, there was a crowd and the two men who went into his house were attempting to get into their car,” said Ndlovu.
It was unclear whether the men were shot inside or outside the house as the commotion on the road made it difficult to tell, Ndlovu said. “They were attacked with objects and blood splashed all over when their heads were chopped off from the body. The man with an axe in his hand struck the two men with so much power and had his eyes fixed on them while the others used sharp objects to inflict more pain. It was like a real-life horror movie,” he said.
Ndlovu claimed the slain men used to work for Teddy Mafia and were known to them. “They started working for another drug lord. Teddy was expecting them on Monday because they were going to sell him guns. They had easy access to Teddy and his house because they used to work for him.”
Ndlovu alleged the man who is seen in the video wielding the axe and chopping off the heads was very loyal to the boss.
Ndlovu, who is familiar with the drug trade, admitted buying heroin capsules from Pillay for R13 before selling them in his neighbourhood for R15.
“The deceased were once valuable to the boss as runners, they were earning about R800 a day before switching to another drug lord,” he said. Ndlovu described Pillay as a humble man who distributed food hampers to the needy community. He said last Christmas, Teddy Mafia rewarded his runners with bonuses amounting to R2 000, while loyal customers were given free heroin.
“He was like a god, everyone liked him. He fed the whole of Klaarwater, Bottlebrush 1104 informal settlement and owned about 10 houses where he accommodated poor people. His death is a big blow to gangsters and drug dealers because he sold different kinds of drugs: pure cocaine, ecstasy, rock, crack cocaine, heroin, mandrax, xenon. He was a wholesaler of drugs,” said Ndlovu.
He said the death of Pillay’s son, Devendren Lionel, known as Bigz, who died in hospital after being involved in a drive-by shooting outside his home last year, had an effect on him. “Teddy had hoped Bigz would take over his business after his retirement,” he said.
He said corrupt police officers would often collect “tax fees” from Pillay in return for protection. Ndlovu said rogue officers in police vans collected bribes of about R500 every time.
Kwazulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the Organised Crime Unit had taken over the case. “The investigation is progressing and we will provide an update once there is a breakthrough. The deceased have not been identified.”