Durban - Kelly Chetty was a devoted father and husband who always did everything in his power to protect his family.
On Thursday afternoon, the 40-year-old was murdered in a botched hijacking on Umlanghane Road, Avoca, trying to protect his 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son from the clutches of criminals.
Chetty, who owned KSS Logistics, had stopped his VW Golf at the side of the road to buy vegetables when the family was accosted by robbers who attempted to hijack his vehicle.
When he did not give in to their demands, they shot him and fled the scene in another vehicle they had hijacked.
But swift work by police saw the suspects being traced to the KwaMashu Hostel on Friday. Two were killed in a shoot-out with police.
The third suspect fled the scene, but was later arrested at a clinic in KwaMashu where he had sought treatment for his gunshot wounds.
On Tuesday morning, community members took to North Coast Road to stage a placard demonstration against crime in the area and in memory of Chetty.
Charles Naidoo, chairperson of the Redhill and Avoca Civic Association, said residents needed to be more alert to crime.
“We can no longer be victims of these brutal and violent killings. We need to mobilise as a community and take a stand against crime,” he said.
“We must not sit back and just be victims. We cannot be robbed of good men like Kelly.”
Mourners packed the Clare Estate Crematorium on Saturday to pay tearful final respects to Chetty.
“He would never allow anything or anyone to harm his wife and children,” said one.
“They were the apple of his eye. We are shocked at what is happening in our city, near our homes where we ought to be safe.”
Another mourner said Chetty’s death had left him devastated.
“Kelly was a good man. He did not deserve to die in such a brutal manner. Police killed two suspects and arrested the third. This was swift action on their part but does it end the cycle of violent crimes?
“What this country needs is the death penalty.
“The government with police need to show criminals that these crimes, petty or serious, will not be tolerated in this country any more.”