Chatsworth pastor shot and killed while protecting community
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Durban - A Chatsworth pastor who was a key figure in rallying community members to keep looters out of their neighbourhood lost his life for the cause. He was laid to rest on Sunday.
Adrian Naidoo, 46, a father of three and pastor of the Jubilee Church, was allegedly shot and killed by patrollers at one of the barricades set up in the Bayview neighbourhood on Monday, in what is suspected to be a case of mistaken identity.
Colonel Brenda Muridili, spokesperson for the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) that has been set-up to monitor and speak on issues related to the riots, comprising the SAPS and other State security institutes, said they were unable to comment on individual incidents.
However, an informed source confirmed four suspects have since been arrested.
Earlier that day, Naidoo was very involved in establishing security cells in some parts of the Bayview area, and was eventually satisfied by the response from locals to keep out possible looters.
It is claimed that the clergyman, who was actively involved in community outreach programmes, caring for the poor and having travelled to parts of Africa to do missionary work, got into a verbal altercation with members of the community at one such set-up.
Fearing for his safety, Naidoo drove off with the two other occupants in his car, but was allegedly shot at by patrollers.
Medics at RK Khan Hospital’s intensive care unit attended to Naidoo, who later succumbed to the gunshot wounds near his neck and lower back.
A post-mortem was due to have been performed on Friday to establish the exact cause of his death.
The pastor’s sibling, Jeffrey Naidoo, said it was a “difficult time” for him and his family, especially since his brother was a do-gooder who spared no effort to provide assistance and protect his community.
Previously, Naidoo drove the formation of the Bayview community policing sub-forum, concerned about the snowballing number of crime-related incidents in the area.
When local shops and businesses were looted in Bayview earlier this week, Naidoo feared their homes were also in danger.
Jeffrey said on Monday his brother networked extensively with residents to draw volunteers and set-up barricades in some parts of Bayview.
“He was very busy on Monday, mobilising people to man entrance points to their streets. He was eventually satisfied that their area was secure,” he said.
Jeffrey said his brother received a call in the evening that shots were being fired in the vicinity of the Bayview swimming pool and he drove to the scene.
At this cell, volunteers were not familiar with Naidoo, as he had not interacted with them previously.
His inquiry about shooting reports was supposedly not well received by some of the volunteers. They swore at and threatened him.
Fearing an attack, Naidoo decided to drive away, but in the process, he crashed into their barricade.
A few volunteers chased in a vehicle and fired shots at Naidoo’s car.
“My brother told his two friends in the car that he was unable to steer the vehicle any longer and stopped the vehicle. He was not aware that he was shot. One of his friends fled the scene, while the other attempted to assist my brother.”
Jeffery said the volunteers who gave chase believed that Naidoo was pretending and refused to let his friend summon medical assistance.
They eventually did, and when paramedics moved him to hospital they too didn’t realise Naidoo was shot.
Jeffrey said Naidoo's gunshot wounds were discovered at the hospital but there was no available surgeon on duty for treatment.
By the time Naidoo’s wife reached the hospital, her husband had died.
Jeffrey said his sister-in-law was “highly distraught”, together with her children.
“It’s like a nightmare that we can’t wake from. His (Naidoo) death has hit us like a ton of bricks.”
What added to the family’s heartache was his brother’s kind hearted and caring nature, especially for the less fortunate, and that he never wanted publicity for his good deeds.
Instead, he preferred to work quietly in the background.