Tragic end for missing Phoenix man

SAGREN Kaniappen

SAGREN Kaniappen

Published Dec 3, 2023


Durban — A missing Phoenix father whose body was found five days after his disappearance, has been described as humble, courteous and well-liked.

Sagren Kaniappen, 59, was found dumped down an embankment in Tea Estate, Verulam, on Tuesday afternoon. His body was found in a state of decomposition.

Kaniappen, who operated a shuttle service, had left his home last Friday morning, to pick up a passenger from King Shaka International Airport and was meant to drop the passenger off in Hillcrest. That didn’t happen and his vehicle was later recovered in Cato Manor.

Kaniappen's son-in-law Kelan Pillay, said they had hoped he would be found safe. They were shocked by his death.

Family spokesperson Dawn Gounden, from Renegades Search and Rescue, said Kaniappen was self-employed and had operated the private shuttle service for 20 years.

“His daughter received a missed call from his phone and when she tried to call him back, it initially went unanswered and then an unknown person it picked up. She became alarmed and reported him missing. It was established that he never got to the airport to fetch his client. His vehicle was found abandoned on Friday.

“He was well-known in the community and well liked. He was always humble and courteous,” said Gounden.

Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, said Verulam SAPS was investigating a case of murder.

“The body, which was in the early stage of decomposition, was retrieved by the police officers from the Search and Rescue unit in thick bush. It is alleged that the victim was kidnapped and a case was registered in Phoenix. His vehicle was later found abandoned at Cato Manor. The matter is under investigation,” said Gwala.

Social media users expressed their sadness at Kaniappen’s death.

“Extremely saddened and angry to see this. Uncle Sagie was a wonderful person and regularly shuttled me to and from the airport. May God grant his family strength and his soul peace,” wrote a Facebook user.

Another wrote: “RIP to a wonderful man of God who loved helping others and he together with his wife gave us the best memories when we went to their Sunday School. All who are implicated in his death, God sees and will deal with them.”

Kaniappen's funeral took place on Saturday.

Sunday Tribune