VIL­LAIN OR HERO?

‘Chill­ies’ laid to rest amid chaos

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - SBONISO MNGADI

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.

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