Early Life and Rise to Power
Brandon Kalicharan was born in Crossmoor, Chatsworth and attended Crossmead Primary and Crossmoor Secondary School. He lost his father, Sylvan at a young age and was raised by his single mother in Universal Place Road – considered a nicer part of Chatsworth because it had free-standing houses and was away from the tenement flats.
In the early 2000s, Kalicharan left his job in a clothing factory shop to work for Kelvin “Kellys” Naidoo who owned Phat Funk Clothing shops in Chatsworth and Phoenix. According to police sources, these legitimate shops were mere fronts for a lucrative drug racket. In 2008, Naidoo was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting by the Drey Boys Gang. Three members of the Drey Boys Gang were convicted of the murders and were sentenced to life in prison.
It was during this period that Kalicharan began running the Chatsworth underworld. He moved away from the clothing business and opened a tavern from where he plotted his expansion. The Drey Boys, however, stood in his way which culminated in a bloody gang war in which several people were killed in drive-by shootings between 2008 and 2011. While suspicions were high, police were unable to pin any of the murders on Kalicharan.
Drug Wholesale Operation and Social Media Popularity
After consolidating his power in Chatsworth, Kalicharan, according to police sources, turned his business into a drug wholesale operation – rather than street pushing – where he would sell large quantities of drugs to street gangs across Durban. The popularity of the cheap heroin-based drug known as “sugars” brought in tens of thousands of rands every day.
Kalicharan’s social media “popped”. He would often stitch together videos of his flashy lifestyle – the cars, the money, and the guns. During a birthday celebration, he and his wife styled themselves as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde in a video, complete with background music and slow-motion effects of them pulling out their guns.
Legal Troubles and Denial of Involvement in Drug Dealing
In media reports, Kalicharan was charged for the alleged 2008 murder of Gerald Arumugan, believed to have been part of a gang known as the Dre-Boys. Arumugan was killed in a drive-by shooting in Chatsworth. However, Kalicharan was never convicted of the crime.
Two years before his death, Kalicharan’s wife, Jeconiah Pillay, claimed in media reports that they were being harassed by police, who had raided their home, and denied her husband was a drug dealer.
Death and Investigation
On March 22, 2023, Kalicharan, his wife, and their nine-year-old daughter were fatally wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting on Peter Road in Springfield. The motive for the killing is unknown, although preliminary investigations suggest that Kalicharan was allegedly involved in drug and gang-related activities in Chatsworth and was a person of interest on some cases being investigated by the Hawks. The gunmen are unknown and a search for them is underway.