Chinnasamy’s funeral service was held at a packed Bethsaida Ministries International Church in Phoenix‚ presided over by Pastor Lucky Govender.
Mourners lined up to pay their last respects to Chinnasamy‚ 48‚ whose open casket was draped with a white cloth and flowers.
As this was taking place‚ some mourners spotted a Times Media freelance photographer and immediately pounced on him. He was manhandled and forced to delete all the images he had taken from his camera. They also ripped out a page from a notebook that a reporter had scribbled some notes. Both the photographer and reporter were told to leave the funeral as it was “private and not public”.
Before he was gunned down on Monday‚ Chinnasamy spent nights at the Boksburg Prison where he was serving a sentence for a murder he committed in Durban in 1998. He was granted day parole in July and fitted with a tracking device to allow prison authorities to monitor his whereabouts.
He had been picked up by a friend from prison just after 7am and they had just stopped at the friends’s house in Brakpan when a Renault drove past and fired several shots at the Toyota Corolla in which Chinnasamy was sitting. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Chinnasamy was the head of the notorious Nithia’s Gang that struck fear into those who crossed its path in Phoenix in the 1980s and 90s.
In 2000‚ he was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 10 years for murder‚ attempted murder and kidnapping after killing a 19-year-old Phoenix resident‚ Segendran Arran‚ in 1998. Chinnasamy instructed his four co-accused to bring Arran to him so that he could be taught a lesson. He was assaulted with a mob handle and burning logs. A hose from a fire hydrant was put in his mouth and water turned on. A stick was also pushed to his rectum by his assailants before he was thrown down an embankment at a nearby school.