Chatsworth anti-drug campaigner, Sam Pillay and his wife, Indrani succumbed to Covid-19 days apart. Picture: Supplied
Chatsworth anti-drug campaigner, Sam Pillay and his wife, Indrani succumbed to Covid-19 days apart. Picture: Supplied

Condolences pour in for anti-drug campaigner Sam Pillay and wife Indrani who died of Covid-19 two days apart

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Jan 25, 2021

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Durban - Condolences are pouring in for prominent Chatsworth anti-drug crusader, Sam Pillay and his wife Indrani who succumbed to Covid-19.

Pillay, who ran the Chatsworth anti-drug forum died on Monday while his wife died on Saturday.

Both had contracted Covid-19 weeks back and had to be admitted to Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital in Mayville.

They will be cremated on Tuesday.

As news spread of their death, condolences flooded social media with scores of people grieving their death and lamenting the loss to the community.

“After saying farewell to my friend I now have to bid farewell to her husband. COVID-19 is stealing too many lives. Farewell Sam Pillay fly with Indrani Pillay and the Angels in heaven,” wrote DA councillor, Shontel De Boer.

A former teacher, Pillay started the Anti-Drug Forum in Chatsworth after the explosion of “sugars” in the community - a cheap cocktail of low grade heroin mixed with among other things, talcum powder - that were ravaging families.

His determination to end the scourge of drugs and eagerness to speak out often pitted him against police inertia, crooked cops and drug dealers.

He was willing to always work with the police and often teamed up with the SAPS and other organisations to conduct raids and stake-outs to nab the dealers.

He created intervention programmes for youth and adults who needed help to get off the drugs but were unable to afford the high costs of rehabilitation.

He also launched the Smart Concept Club which prided itself in spreading drug awareness in 100 primary and high schools in Chatsworth.

Writing on Facebook on a post that has been shared on community groups, Cyril Palany said that the loss of Pillay and his wife was a “tremendous loss to the community of Durban”.

“Sam was a champion who brought relief to thousands of families affected by the scourge of drugs by his counselling and rehab programs. I had the privilege of working on a few projects with Sam and while he was not a Christian, he had no qualms about working with churches and church leaders. The Anti-Drug Forum founded by Sam is a Testament to dogged resilience. Sam was a hero. His passion to eradicate the scourge of drugs and help addicts recover was his striking characteristic. Religion was never a barrier for Sam. He was resolute and he was hated by drug dealers with a passion. Many tried to silence him. Together with his wife they made huge sacrifices. Sam rescued thousands of drug addicts. He may never have preached a religious message but his endeavours are wide reaching. May we take a lesson from Sam Pillay and work for people irrespective of religious differences. We lost a genuine selfless leader who never backed down even when his life was threatened. Condolences to his family,” he said.

Pillay and Indrani had two children, Yugen, a businessman and Yoshnee, a financial adviser.


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