Yaganathan Pillay, aka Teddy Mafia, said he was at Table Mountain Street and unaware that residents of Taurus Street, where he lives, and police had clashed.
It was not until he heard gunshots that he and his son went outside to investigate.
Pillay said they saw vehicles from the Flying Squad and the uMlazi K9 Unit parked on the road and a neighbour, Kuben Moodley, allegedly being assaulted by the police.
The grandfather of nine said he returned to his daughter’s home.
He said that rumours had been doing the rounds for years that he was a drug kingpin and had been paying the electricity and grocery bills of residents in Shallcross to prevent them from reporting illicit behaviour.
Pillay denied this. He said he helped the community by giving them loans to pay off their expenses.
He said that after swooping on Moodley’s home looking for drugs, the community had tried to intervene and ended up clashing with the police.
He added that the police ended up on his property looking for drugs. He remained at his daughter’s home.
Police did not comment by the time of publication.