VILLAIN OR HERO?
‘Chillies’ laid to rest amid chaos
POLICE nabbed two people pretending to be law enforcement and military authorities at the funeral of Durban’s alleged hijacking kingpin, Sandile “Chillies” Bhengu.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the suspects were arrested at the Wentworth Cemetery, where Bhengu was to be buried.
“Two suspects were arrested for impersonating Road Traffic Inspectorate and Navy officials by wearing their uniform at the cemetery,” she said.
The two are expected to appear in Umlazi Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
Helicopters circled around the Umlazi community where the funeral service for the 36-year-old took place.
Motorcycles escorted the body to the cemetery, while young men and women danced outside the community hall in uMlazi where his funeral service took place.
The funeral was attended by hundreds of people and police searched bags for weapons and staged roadblocks coming into uMlazi.
On Friday night, several cars were stolen in neighbouring Chatsworth and burnt in uMlazi, allegedly in his honour.
One car was burnt at the very spot in uMlazi’s B section where the alleged kingpin was shot at the end of August. Earlier in the week, many cars were spun to celebrate him.
On social media many celebrated Bhengu, but this has opened up wounds for the many who have been victims of crime. Victims said people like Bhengu terrorised the community.
One 32-year-old Bluff woman, who was hijacked on her way home three months ago, was angry with those on social media who were in awe of “Chillies”.
“People talk nonsense and say he was not brutal they don’t know how brutal is the trauma you go through after the hijacking.
“It changes your life in a bad way, you are always suspicious, always scared, always anxious.
“I personally had an incident after my hijacking because I thought I was being hijacked again. “I could have died. “People who have never gone through this would celebrate until they lose one of their own,” said the woman.
Another 28-year-old woman from Newlands, who was hijacked in January, said the incident robbed her of her freedom.
“These people take more than your car, they take your freedom.
“I am quite frankly disgusted at the glorification of a low-life criminal. Those who celebrated, I say spare a minute for those who lost lives, relatives, their freedom, because of crime,” she said.
Another woman on social media, wrote that Chillies killed her father in 2014.
“He shot and killed my dad in front of us… and took off with our car leaving us in the middle of nowhere with my dad’s dead body,” said the woman.
Attempts to contact her on social media were unsuccessful.
At the funeral service, one man held up a placard which read: “They killed our friend and now they are here to witness their brutality, shame on you cops”.
Bhengu was killed in a shoot-out with police on August 30 after he was allegedly caught removing a tracking device from a stolen vehicle in uMlazi. The car was stolen in Chatsworth, police said.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula issued a stern warning in the lead up to Bhengu’s funeral, assuring residents of uMlazi that threats to commit crime such as car-jacking and killing of police officials to glorify thuggery would not be tolerated.
Funeral of Gang boss‘Chillies’Bhengu, 36, (inset) died last week when shot by police.