Teacher dies in street

2014-06-24 00:00

A WELL-KNOWN English teacher at a popular model C school in Pietermaritzburg suffered a heart attack and died on the pavement on his way to work yesterday.

Alexandra High School teacher Ajith Singh (54), from Northdale, was walking along Bombay Road at about 7 am when he collapsed on the pavement and died.

Sham Govender, a family friend, told The Witness they were informed by a community member that Singh had first collapsed a few metres down the road.

“He told them that he was okay and they don’t need to be worried. He left them there and continued with his journey. Then he collapsed again for the second time and paramedics were called. That is when he died,” said Govender.

Ashak Bharath, a resident who called for an ambulance after he noticed Singh on the pavement, said the paramedics had tried everything possible to revive him.

“It was a terrifying situation to see him on the pavement. I called for ambulances. They quickly arrived and they tried to resuscitate him for about an hour, but it was too late. They then told us that he had passed on,” said Bharath.

Singh’s brother Sundesh was called to the scene, where he sat on a chair while waiting for the mortuary van to remove his brother’s remains. He said Singh was not feeling well in the morning. “He complained that he was not feeling well, even though he did not have something specific to complain about. He then started preparing for work and left without complaining,” said Sundesh.

“I was shocked to be called and told that he was lying on the pavement as paramedics were trying to help him. We have notified his son in Cape Town, who is studying to become a doctor, while his wife is teaching in Dubai,” said Sundesh.

He added that his brother was a family man. “He was an absolute gentleman who loved his family. He was always making himself available to assist anyone in need,” said Sundesh.

Alexandra High School principal Andrew Graaf and school official Pravin Sha arrived at the scene where Singh’s body lay covered with a blanket.

Graaf, who was shocked by Singh’s death, said, “I did not expect to find him lying here still. A member of the public phoned the school about a teacher that had collapsed. We came here as soon as we could. But I thought we were going to do a home visit, not to see him like this here.

“He had a special touch with troubled pupils. He had a unique sense of humour. We are devastated and sad about the news we received,” said Graaf.

He added that Singh was a valued member of the school’s staff, having served as an English teacher since 2000.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket was opened.

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