South African great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi Satish Dhupelia succumbs to COVID-19

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Dhupelia was renowned for helping the needy in all communities and was active in a number of social welfare organizations.

Satish Dhupelia, the South African great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, succumbed to complications from COVID-19 here on Sunday, three days after his 66th birthday, a family member said.

Dhupelia’s sister, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, has confirmed that her brother died of complications from COVID-19 after contracting the disease at the hospital where he had been on treatment for a month from pneumonia.

“My beloved brother passed away after a month of illness with pneumonia, a superbug contracted in hospital and then COVID-19 also contracted during his treatment. He suffered a major cardiac arrest tonight, ”Uma said in a social media post.

Besides Uma, Dhupelia leaves another sister, Kirti Menon, who lives in Johannesburg, where she is active in various projects honoring Gandhi’s memory.

The three siblings are descendants of Manilal Gandhi, whom Mahatma Gandhi left in South Africa to continue his work after returning to India after spending two decades.

Dhupelia, who has spent most of his life in the media, particularly as a videographer and photographer, has also been very active in helping the Gandhi Development Trust to continue the work started by the Mahatma at the Phoenix Settlement near Durban.

He was renowned for helping the needy in all communities and was active in a number of welfare organizations.

Tributes pour in from friends and relatives.

“I am in shock. Satish was a great humanitarian and activist,” political analyst Lubna Nadvi said.

“He was also a great friend of the Counseling Office for Women Victims of Violence and always helped the organization in any way he could,” Nadvi added.

Dhupelia was also a board member of the 1860 Heritage Foundation, which on Monday November 16 commemorated the arrival of India’s first indentured laborers to work in Durban’s sugar cane fields.

That day, in one of his last Facebook posts for which Dhupelia was known, especially for his humor, he wrote:

Let us also not forget that we must still remain united to achieve our final goals of equality for all and the eradication of poverty.

Dhupella’s funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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