#SAUnrest: Phoenix pensioner allegedly shot while ’protecting his community’ during looting
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Durban: In a bid to save his uncle who had been shot by suspected looters, Alvin Gangiah, removed his t-shirt and used it to apply pressure onto his gunshot wounds.
His uncle, Ganesh Naidoo, 61, a pensioner from Clayfield in Phoenix, was shot twice in the stomach and once in the chest last Monday night.
Naidoo died on his way to the hospital.
Gangiah said the men in the community got together to patrol the streets due to the looting and violence earlier in the day.
"My uncle was patrolling with two other residents near the Phoenix Muslim School. This was sometime between 9.30pm and 10pm. I was nearby with another group. The men noticed a white NP 200 vehicle approach the area. There were about four occupants."
He said his uncle and the two other patrollers approached the vehicle to find out why they were in the area.
"We believe that as they approached the vehicle, some of the occupants opened fire on them. They then abandoned their vehicle and fled into a nearby sports field. Other residents chased after them but could not locate them because it was dark."
Gangiah said his uncle was twice in the stomach and once on the chest.
"His son and I ran to help him. We took off our t-shirts and used them to apply pressure onto his gunshot wounds. We were hoping it would stop the bleeding. We managed to carry him into a van, and on our way to the hospital, he died. It was hard to watch him pass on."
He said the other two patrols were also shot but survived.
"One patroller who was in the stomach. He is in critical condition in hospital. The other was shot in the leg. He is recovering at home. My uncle grew up in the area. He loved the community, and he wanted to protect residents because many of them were scared. They did not know what to expect."
Gangiah said breaking the news of his uncle’s death to his aunt, Tally, 55, was difficult.
"She is unable to accept that he is no more. He loved his family. His grandchildren were the apple of his eye. His grant was what supported his family after his son and daughter-in-law lost their jobs due to Covid-19. He loved going to church and would never miss a service."
"We are all in shock. He died protecting us, protecting his family and residents. He is a hero to our community and our family."
Naidoo's funeral was held on Tuesday at the Verulam Crematorium.
The police did not comment at the time of publishing.