South Africa, Durban – Tributes continue to pour in on social media following news of the death of well-known Durban activist Satish Dhupelia.
Dhupelia, who celebrated his 66th birthday last week, passed away on Sunday. The family said Dhupelia suffered from pulmonary fibrosis for many years. Three weeks ago he contracted pneumonia.
“While in hospital, he picked up a superbug which led to a second admission. During this second visit, he picked up Covid-19. He was being treated for Covid-19 and died of a massive heart attack on November 22,” a family spokesperson said.
He is survived by his two sisters, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie and Kirti Menon; his children Misha, Shashika and Kabir; his brothers-in-law, Rajend Mesthrie and Sunil Menon; and his nieces, Sunita and Sapna.
Dhupelia worked as a teacher and was an avid photographer and videographer.
His family said while others talked and wrote about Gandhi’s teachings, Dhupelia lived his great-grandfather’s message.
“The car guards in Sydenham all knew Satish well, and he often gave them cash and food. They knew his name and he knew their names and life stories. A keen animal lover, he was known to pick up lost and wounded animals and take them to shelters and veterinary clinics. The love of his love was his pit bull/bull terrier, Bella. She will be bereft without him,” the family said.
His aunt, Ela Gandhi said: “Satish’s wit and humour will be remembered fondly by his family and friends. He was a warm compassionate, caring person. Whatever he did he always put his heart and soul into it. The children and supervisor of the Siyathutuka créche at Phoenix Settlement loved him, and all those who listened to his radio show loved him. His outreach programme was among the most effective programmes of the Gandhi Development Trust.”
Many have taken to social media to share their fond memories of how he impacted their lives.
Chairperson of the Mayville CPF and eThekwini Central Cluster CPF Imtiaz Syed offered his condolences to the family.
“Satish was a legend in his lifetime. He was an activist of note who never sought reward or recognition. He never hesitated to help anyone who called on him for assistance in whatever way. He was a person who did what his soul told him to, and he was completely in touch with his noble and pure intention,” he said.
Combined Community Watch’s Domenic King said: “Rest peacefully, Satish. Nobody will ever come close to filling your shoes. Your legacy will live on in our memories for many years to come.
The family has said Dhupelia’s funeral will take place on Monday at 5:30 pm and it will be attended by close family.
Deeply saddened by the passing away of #SatishDhupelia.
He was an activist in the Struggle against apartheid and has been an active member in the community – rallying for support and help for those who need it.
My deepest condolences to Ela and familyhttps://t.co/gTgLre9Z56
— TiaraRay 👑 (@SydenhamStekkie) November 23, 2020
Great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi named Satish Dhupelia died in South Africa due to Covid-19. He died three days after his 66th birthday. Such a sad news for the nation. #satishdhupelia #COVID19 #India #SouthAfrica #MahatmaGandhi pic.twitter.com/YJ2MLTUyF3
— Vertika Sonakia (@SonakiaVertika) November 23, 2020
The funeral will also be streamed on the Ghandi Development Trust Facebook page.
The family would like those who want to pay their respect,s to donate a sum of money, instead of sending flowers, to any charitable organisation for the poor, the homeless and any animal welfare society.