Roychand Autur, Nathen Deokie and Kalesh Deokie
Roychand Autur, Nathen Deokie and Kalesh Deokie

Triple tragedy strikes KZN family within days

By Charlene Somduth Time of article published Sep 18, 2020

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Durban - MINUTES after arranging his brother’s funeral, Nathen Deokie and his stepfather, Roychand Autur, were killed in a car crash on the R74 near KwaDukuza.

Last Tuesday morning, Deokie, 37, a supervisor at a security company, and Autur, 49, a sofa manufacturer, were travelling to their home in Warrenton when they were involved in a head-on collision.

They sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene.

Deokie’s brother, Kalesh, 35, who was unemployed, was supposed to be buried later that day.

Christina Subraylu, the family spokesperson, said they went to the mortuary at the Stanger Hospital to wash and dress Kalesh’s body.

“Kalesh was on drugs and preferred to live on the streets. His family tried to get him help but he refused. He also suffered from TB.”

She said the family had not seen him for a month and were worried about his safety.

On September 4, Subraylu went to the area where Kalesh was usually seen and asked people about his whereabouts.

“I was told that he fell in August and was taken to Stanger Hospital. I went to the hospital the following day to locate him but I was informed that he had died. The hospital did not have the details for his next-of-kin, so his body was kept at the on-site mortuary. I was told that he died on the same day that he was brought in.”

Subraylu said he broke the news to Deokie and Autur as well as Kalesh’s mother, Piari, 54, and his youngest brother, Dillion, 20.

“Nathen and Roychand took care of all the funeral arrangements. Kalesh was supposed to be cremated on September8. We were preparing ourselves to receive Kalesh’s body when we were informed of the crash and their deaths.”

She said Piari, Dillion, Deokie’s wife, Jade, and their two children were inconsolable. “It was hard for the family to accept that they did not get to say goodbye to Kalesh, or be there for him when he died.

“Then losing Nathen and Roychand in such a tragic manner has left them with deeper wounds. All three men were kind, helpful and loving.”

She said Kalesh and Autur’s funerals were on Wednesday. Deokie’s funeral was on Thursday.

Subraylu said the R72 was notorious for accidents.

“Two of my family members were killed by speeding motorists on that road and recently another family, that included a little girl, also died.”

In July, Daniel Chetty, a retired mechanic, his wife Shakila, a housewife, their son-in-law Seeran Moodley, an IT specialist, and granddaughter Adelle, 9, were killed in a car crash.

Moodley’s wife, Daffanee, and son, Zakey, who was just over 18 months old, survived.

Ticko Ayer, from the KwaDukuza Inter-Faith Committee, said: “We have held prayers on the road. We also wrote to the Department of Transport for help. We want the department to put in speed bumps and breakers but we are still waiting.

“We need our municipality to help us highlight how dangerous this road is becoming.”

Sipho Mkhize, the spokesperson for the KwaDukuza Municipality, said the R74 was a regional road run by the Department of Transport. He was unable to comment further on the matter.

The department did not comment at the time of publication. The occupants in the other vehicle survived the crash.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

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