Durban activist Arvitha Doodnath killed in Joburg shooting
Durban - A former Durban woman, Arvitha Doodnath, who was murdered in Joburg at the weekend, has been described as a person who had an “unyielding passion for justice”.
Family spokesperson Tashya Giyapersad said the 30-year-old’s family were in shock and trying to cope with her death.
“She was a wonderful person who was a very educated cum laude student who finished her Master’s and had semi-completed her doctorate when this happened,” said Giyapersad.
Doodnath’s funeral was held at the Clare Estate Hall in Durban on Monday.
Gauteng provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, said Doodnath was shot dead after 9pm on Saturday at the intersection of Jan Smuts Avenue and Upper Park Drive, Westcliff.
“A white Ford Figo was found with bullet holes, and a lady who was inside the vehicle had been fatally shot,” he said.
Paramedics declared her dead at the scene, and Dlamini said the motive for the shooting was not clear.
He said a case of murder had been registered at Parkview police station.
“It seems that nothing was taken from the vehicle,” said Dlamini.
Doodnath was a research fellow at the Helen Suzman Foundation and a lecturer at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
Francis Antonie, the director of the foundation, said Doodnath joined it as a legal researcher in 2015, and her passion for health policy reform quickly saw her take over the health desk.
He said that after three years in this position, she joined VUT, where she lectured in policing law.
After her departure to take up her lecturing position, she was appointed as a research fellow of the foundation.
Antonie said Doodnath maintained a close relationship with the foundation.
“We remember Arvitha for her unyielding passion for justice and her commitment to making a real contribution, through her work and personal life, to a better South Africa.
“She lived her life with fierce determination, compassion, and joy. It is devastating that her life was taken from her in the manner that it was,” he said.
Antonie added that Doodnath was, and remained, an integral part of the foundation’s family, and would forever be remembered this way.
“We wish to extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends for this tragic loss,” he said.
One of Doodnath’s students, Sbahle Mahlangu, said Doodnath had helped her during her first year of university.
“She never got tired of us and dedicated her time to make sure we received all the important things we needed. She was one of the greatest people I have ever met,” said Mahlangu.
Mike Khuboni, the executive director of corporate affairs at VUT, said Doodnath’s death came as a shock.
He said the institution would hold a memorial service for her on Thursday.