City stalwart Chetty laid to rest

2012-03-20 00:00

CITY stalwart Kisten “Pops” Chetty (66) had one of the largest funerals the city has witnessed in recent times. Sympathisers from across the political divide, the sporting fraternity, business and community organisations streamed into the Truro Hall to pay their respects where his body lay in state.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize visited the crematorium to pay his respects, accompanied by Finance MEC Ina Cronjé. Other members of the legislature, including Maggie Govender, paid their respects at the hall.

Master of ceremonies at the funeral, Pete Jugmohan, said the large turnout was testimony to the fact that Chetty wore many hats and played a leading role in different arenas.

Umgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee, who spoke on behalf of the ANC, said the number of councillors present at the funeral showed the high regard in which Chetty was held. He recalled the late stalwart’s role in various community struggles, for example the fight to keep rates affordable, sorting out the crematorium and ensuring that there were festive lights for the religious festivals from Diwali, Eid to Christmas. Bhamjee said Chetty’s true worth would be realised when the full story of the struggle for non-racial sport was told.

DA member of the provincial legislature Mark Steele, who served as a city councillor with Chetty, said he loved this city.

“We were both on the street lighting committee and I remember driving around the streets at night with an official in the back looking for lights that were not working and needed to be fixed.”

Steele said that was the dedication with which Chetty carried out his duties as a councillor and this extended to other spheres, including the work he did as a member of the Independent Electoral Commission party liaison committee.

Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance Yunus Carrim, who spoke on behalf of the family, said there were many lessons from Chetty’s life that the youth of today, with their strong sense of entitlement, could learn. “Most of all, his life tells us that nothing can substitute for hard work,” he said.

Tributes were sent from religious organisations, welfare bodies, political parties and different sporting organisations.

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