Champion of Howick’s fair rates fight dies

2010-08-17 00:00

FORMER Durban town clerk Gordon Haygarth died yesterday after complications following a fall two weeks ago.

Haygarth, who had settled in Howick after his retirement, broke his hip when he slipped on Saturday, August 7. He had been in hospital ever since.

Yesterday morning he took a turn for the worse and was moved to the intensive care unit at Medi-clinic in Pietermaritzburg, but died a short while later.

Don Nott, chairperson of the board of trustees at Amberglen Retirement Village, said Haygarth, who was the board’s advisor on municipal affairs, will be sorely missed.

Haygarth led a campaign against the discriminatory manner in which the uMngeni Municipality rates retirement villages in the town. They are rated as sectional title properties and not as retirement villages. He helped to bring the matter before the Human Rights Commission, which ruled in the campaign’s favour, but the municipality did not act on this ruling.

A month ago Haygarth gave evidence on the matter to a commission of inquiry looking into allegations of corruption at uMngeni.

A former Durban city treasurer, Ossie Gorven, described Haygarth as a first-class colleague. He said he joined the Durban city staff in the early 1940s and worked his way up from estates manager to deputy city treasurer. He became deputy town clerk and then town clerk, a position he held for over 15 years before retiring.

According to Democratic Alliance councillor Tim Lindsay-White, Haygarth and his wife Winifred were loved and respected members of the Howick community.

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