Suspect drug kingpin Yaganathan Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, was never convicted in a court of law. Picture: Zanele Zulu
Suspect drug kingpin Yaganathan Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, was never convicted in a court of law. Picture: Zanele Zulu

Teddy Mafia had brushes with the law, but was never convicted

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 8, 2021

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Durban - For almost a decade suspected drug kingpin Yaganathan Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, had run-ins with the law but was never convicted.

This week Pillay was gunned down in Taurus Road, Shallcross home and he was laid to rest at the Shallcross Cemetery on Thursday.

On social media, there was a mixed reaction. Some praised Pillay, others said he had destroyed the community.

However Pillay was never convicted.

In 2013, he was arrested after a surprise raid where R5 million worth of drugs was found at his home.

In 2016, Pillay was arrested after he was allegedly found in possession of R1.8 million worth of drugs and various firearms.

During the course of 2016, Pillay’s name came up during an oversight visit by Parliament’s portfolio committee on police.

They were in the province for a five-day visit to ensure the billions that are spent on the police ensure communities are safer.

At the time, the then station commander of Chatsworth police told the committee drug dealers were clever and police struggled to get near them.

Last April, Pillay was arrested after police conducted a multi-disciplinary raid at his home.

Police seized unlicensed firearms, R700 000 in cash as well as gold and silver coins estimated to be valued at R250 000.

Weeks later, Pillay paid bail of R5 000 at the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court.

This week the Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Elaine Zungu, said the case against the accused will be struck off the court roll once the State is presented with a death certificate.

He was escorted home by a police van. A video, which circulated on social media, showed a four- vehicle convoy, including a police vehicle, arriving at Pillay’s Shallcross home.

In October last year, Sergeant Trevor Chetty, who drove the police vehicle, was dismissed from the SAPS. Chetty claimed he was following the instructions of a senior officer.

The constable who was in the vehicle with Chetty was suspended for one month without pay.

For some, Pillay was a hero but for others he was a villain.

This week a resident said: “I hope that now that he is gone, the scourge of drugs in our community will stop. Teddy ruled the area with an iron fist and people worshipped him but what about those whose lives he destroyed? To see people kill for another human being is unacceptable. People do not behave that way.”

A police officer, who had raided Pillay’s home on various occasions said: “You live by a code, you go by it too. A lot of people in the community were ready to defend him at any time and blocked our way from entering his home. It was not right. The same money that he was giving people and buying stuff for people was the money he was making from his alleged drug dealings.”

Another officer said he hoped nobody would try to take over from Pillay.

“There is a space opened for someone to step in. While we are trying to do away with drug dealers, I hope no one tries to step it. With Mafia we knew about his business and he allowed us to conduct our business when we went in for operations. It is better the evil you know than the one you don’t.”

These are some of the comments on social media:

· "This man destroyed our community. Yes, drugs are a choice but what do young children know. He killed our kids. Kids in the community are as good as our own. We feel for their families. Rot now."

· "Drugs kill more youngsters that this. I have no sympathy for anyone dealing in drugs that meet their demise in this manner"

· "A disgrace to the Hindu community of South Africa."

· "Why is there so much of emphasis on the mafia boss that was killed yet those two that were killed and beheaded in public get no sympathy. That drug lord was responsible for so many homes being ruined and the lives of youngsters get destroyed. The fact that he was paying rent or buying groceries was for his own benefit ’cos he needed to buy the loyalty of the community to protect him."

· “He has been providing for the community with the drug money so they will protect him. I wonder if his wife will continue with his empire … Like the series …The Queen.”

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