Coastlands hotelier Saantha Naidu’s wife dies at age 66
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Durban: Saras Naidu, the wife of Durban property mogul and Coastlands hotelier Saantha Naidu, has died at the age of 66 after a 11-year battle with cancer.
Naidu passed on in the presence of close family members at Capitol Hospital last Thursday .
Dharashan Naidu, her eldest son, spoke of her last moments.
"Her entire family was around her. It was an extremely touching send-off.
"I remember how she looked at me, smiled and said, 'Everything is going to be okay'."
He described his mum as a pillar in the family, who was kind and generous person and who had a passion for people.
"If someone needed help she was there, no expenses spared."
Dharashan said his mother lived for many years in the UK and adopted much of the English way.
"Mum was a prim and proper lady and you would always find her in a suit."
Dharashan said Naidu would often host events that sought to empower the community.
He said Naidu was also business minded and, in her younger days, was a beauty therapist.
She went on to become the founder of the Fleur De Lis Spa, at Coastlands Musgrave Hotel, which has since been taken over by new owners.
At the funeral, which was live streamed on YouTube, her uncle Jayraj Naidu said Naidu was always immaculately dressed even when she was sick.
"She carried herself gracefully. I would always tease her that she was the queen of South Port."
Jayraj said that she loved her family and kept in close contact with her brothers who lived in the UK.
He said she was also deeply religious and belonged to the Radha Soami Satsang.
"She was a devoted disciple."
KZN premier Sihle Sikalala who attended the funeral said Naidu was a kind and caring woman who believed in social justice for all South Africans.
"When I occasionally met Saras at events, she was always gracious and welcoming. Her delightful smile and calm demeanour perfectly complemented comrade Saantha's generosity of heart and spirit."
Mike Mabuyakhulu, the ANC deputy chairperson in KZN, said Naidu treatedeveryone the same, regardless of their stature.
"She may have come from a privileged position but lived simply. She never lost a sense of who she was.
"We are here to pay our respects to a lady that was steeped in a very humane way of doing things."
Her funeral took place at the Coastlands Musgrave Hotel before proceeding to the Clare Estate Crematorium.
She leaves her husband Saantha Naidu, their four children and five grandchildren.