Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson and Durban activist Satish Dhupelia dies of Covid-19 complications

22 November 2020 - 19:07
Satish Dhupelia, the Durban community activist and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, died in Durban on Sunday.
Satish Dhupelia, the Durban community activist and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, died in Durban on Sunday.
Image: Satish Dhupelia

Durban community activist Satish Dhupelia, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, has died, his family confirmed on Sunday.

Dhupelia died of Covid-19 related complications, according to his sister, Uma. 

“My beloved brother has passed on after a month of illness with pneumonia, a superbug contracted in hospital, and then Covid-19 also contracted while he was being treated. He suffered a major cardiac arrest this evening,” she said in a social media post. 

Dhupelia's cousin, Kidar Ramgobin, also confirmed the news, which, he said, had saddened the family. 

“I can confirm he passed away. It was around 4.30pm this afternoon. He had a massive heart attack and they could not revive him after that,” said Ramgobin. 

Dhupelia had celebrated his birthday on Thursday with a post in which he thanked friends and family for their wishes.

A very good morning to you on the this fine 19th November which marks Satish and Teddy’s 66 birthday. Thanking you all...

Posted by Satish Dhupelia on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tributes poured in for the popular activist, including one from political analyst Lubna Nadvi, who wrote: “I have just heard of the passing of Brother Satish Dhupelia, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. I am in shock. After a week of grief, this news has really shaken me even further. Satish was a great humanitarian and activist.

“He was also a great friend of the Advice Desk for Abused Women, and always assisted the organisation in whichever way he could. He always assisted the poor and needy and, through his work in the Sherwood/Mayville area, he always made a difference to the lives of so many.”

Family friend Nirode Bramdaw wrote: “My dear friend, comrade and colleague Satish Dhupelia, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, succumbed to a debilitating disorder today. His mom, Sita, and I were firm friends too. A leader in her own right whose outspokenness belied her gentle heritage.

“As a colleague on the board of the 1860 Heritage Centre, Satish and I accomplished great things together. I will really miss our interactions, always with some humour added to the sterling work he did, with a firm conviction we shared. He worked tirelessly with the homeless in Durban, often with scant resources but with boundless energy that betrayed his illness.”

Funeral details are yet to be confirmed.