Dr Dayanandah Appal Naidu, 68, a specialist surgeon at the Bay Hospital, sustained a gunshot wound just under his lip and the bullet lodged in his head. The incident occurred last Sunday.
His son, Prashanth Naidu, described his father’s death as being accidental.
“My father returned home at 10.30pm and parked his car in the garage. He was carrying his firearm in a holster in his hand. The garage is not very well lit and there were boxes scattered on the floor. As he got out of his car, he tripped over one of the boxes and fell.”
Naidu said as his father fell he dropped the gun and it went off.
“He was shot just under the lip and the bullet lodged in his head. He was found the next day by his domestic worker.
“He carried a gun to protect himself because crime in the area had escalated.”
Naidu said there was speculation about his death.
“There is no signs of suicide or foul play. We are waiting on the ballistics report to see if the safety catch had been on.”
Naidu said his family was distraught.
“It is hard to accept his death because of the manner in which he died. We are all trying to be strong for one another. He was looking forward to the birth of his second grandson in July and going on a sailing trip later this week.”
He said his father had dedicated his life to helping the sick.
“His entire career was his legacy. He came from humble beginnings and through hard work he got the opportunity to study medicine in Dublin.
“He was a perfectionist and treated his patients with the utmost respect and dignity. They were his first priority.”
As a father, Naidu said he was an inspiration. “My dad always motivated my siblings and I to achieve our goals.”
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said an inquest into his death had been opened at the Richards Bay police station.