South African Intersex Criminal Kingpin Interviewed
'I look like a man, I talk like a man, I am a man'
Underworld flabbergasted to discover 'Fat' Murphy is Intersex
On the drug-ravaged streets he's known as Fat Murphy. Feared by many, the burly suspected drug lord is clean-shaven and wears his second wife's name tattooed on his arm.
But the man who was banished from a crime-ridden suburb on the Cape Flats by furious residents protesting against alleged drug dealers has now been unmasked - as a hermaphrodite named Hilary.
Police and the underworld were shocked this week when Fadwaan "Fat" Murphy, 37, stood up in court to face charges of possession of stolen property, and declared under oath that he was born with both male and female sexual organs.
Police claim they discovered Murphy's "true" gender when a strap-on penis fell off while he was being searched during a raid at his Kuils River home two weeks ago.
A visibly upset Murphy was forced to discuss his gender during a bail application in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court in Cape Town.
"I had a vagina that could not be penetrated. But I also had male organs, testes. But I always knew I was really a man and that was what I wanted to be," he told the court. A startled public gallery had to be told by court orderlies to keep quiet, as he dropped the bombshell.
Murphy applied for bail after being charged with possession of stolen property and corruption - police claimed he offered a member of the force R9 100 not to search him during the raid.
"I am what I am through the creation of God. I stand firm as a man, as a husband and as a father," he told the Sunday Times on Friday.
Murphy, who is persona non grata in Mitchells Plain after the community marched on his house in Lentegeur to protest against his alleged drug dealing, talked openly about his gender.
"God created me with both sexual organs. It was God's decision, not mine," he said.
"I was born with a disability that could have happened to anyone. Children have been born with two heads."
Murphy's mother, Faiza Allie, 59, told the Sunday Times that she tried to bring him up as a girl, but he never wanted to wear dresses.
"He wanted to wear pants, Nevada's, and Grasshopper shoes. Not even on Christmas Day did he put on a dress.
"When he was at school he used to go out of the house with his school dress on, but around the corner he would take it off and go to school in pants. Just before he got home, he would put the dress on again," she said.
Murphy was a bright pupil who never failed until he abruptly decided to leave school in Grade 10 - and started running a shebeen.
Allie said her troubled and short-tempered son wrote her a letter when he was 13. In it he told her there was something that was bothering him, and that there was something wrong "down there". It was only then that she realised the magnitude of his problem.
Murphy said: "I would not describe myself as having a sex change - I only had the female parts removed.
"My kids, a girl of four and a boy of one, come from my testes. I never developed breasts. I look like a man, I talk like a man. I am a man," he told the Sunday Times.
Murphy has been married twice and in his teens converted to Islam. He said he was married legally to his first wife and later divorced her in the High Court in Cape Town.
"How could I have done this if I did not have a legal identity document?" he asked.
But a prosecutor told the court that a fraud investigation had been launched because Murphy had two identity documents - one in which his name was indicated as Hilary Murphy and another which named him as Fadwaan Murphy.
Police are investigating how Murphy obtained the male identity document in 2001.
Murphy told the court that his gender was corrected with a series of operations at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, when he was in his teens.
He claimed he was issued with the male identity document after the corrective procedures at the hospital.
But police disputed that version in court, saying initial investigations had shown that Murphy did not have a sex change operation.
Murphy has been living in Kuils River after several incidents near his houses - he has three - in Lentegeur and Mitchells Plain.
He was charged with three separate cases: kidnapping in May 2008 when the state alleged he ordered drug-runners to capture a woman suspected of stealing drugs; intimidation of a neighbourhood watch member in May 2009; and pointing a firearm at a neighbourhood watch member who had found drugs in October 2009.
The cases are still before the court and, as part of his bail conditions, he was not allowed back into the Lentegeur area. Murphy said that bail conditions had been lifted but he chose not to return to the area.
"If Director Jeremy Vearey (Mitchell's Plain police station commissioner) and his fellow officers (who arrested Murphy during the raid) think that they have robbed me of my pride and dignity as a man, then they are fooling themselves.
"Vearey is harassing me because I am suing him for crimen injuria. He says that he is pursuing me for drug dealing - what has that got to do with my gender? My sexual status is not a criminal offence," said Murphy.
He was released on bail of R300 and is due back in court on March 2.