Cele asks why 'known drug dealer' Teddy Mafia was never successfully prosecuted

05 January 2021 - 19:58
Police minister Bheki Cele has asked his members in Durban why a 'known drug dealer' was never brought to book. He said communities wanted the 'real guys' in jail, not the petty criminals.
Police minister Bheki Cele has asked his members in Durban why a 'known drug dealer' was never brought to book. He said communities wanted the 'real guys' in jail, not the petty criminals.
Image: Esa Alexander

Police minister Bheki Cele has some tough questions for his officers in Durban, asking why Yaganathan Pillay, known as Teddy Mafia, was never brought to book despite being a “known gangster and drug dealer”.

Pillay was gunned down on Monday afternoon, with the two men seemingly responsible then set upon — they were shot, beheaded and their bodies set alight.

Speaking to eNCA on Tuesday while monitoring Covid-19 hotspots in the Western Cape, Cele posed the question as to how the 63-year-old Shallcross gangster operated for decades under the noses of the police.

“I still have a question that I raise with the police that if this guy was known to be a gangster and a drug dealer, why was he still out there? This is what the community and all of us are calling for: don't deal with these small fish, don't deal with the men on the street, deal with the real guys,” he said.

Cele's quest for answers came two days before Pillay is to be laid to rest. A funeral service is expected to be held at his home on Taurus Street in Shallcross on Thursday morning.

Though never convicted of any drug-related offences, Pillay has had his run-ins with the cops over narcotics.

TimesLIVE reported that his home was the subject of many police raids.

In January 2013 it was reported that R5m worth of drugs were found in his home during a police raid.

In 2016, Pillay was arrested after he was allegedly found in possession of about R1.8m worth of drugs and various firearms, including a Beretta 6.35 pistol and a home-made gun.

The latest of such arrests was on April 30 last year. During a raid on his home, police allegedly found unlicensed firearms, R700,000 in cash, and gold and silver coins worth about R250,000.

Charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, Pillay was released on R5,000 bail at the Chatsworth magistrate's court and ordered to appear at the local police station twice a week.

TimesLIVE

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