Satish Dhupelia, one of Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandsons, succumbed to COVID-19 in Johannesburg on Sunday, three days after his 66th birthday.
Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie confirmed that her brother had died of COVID-19-related complications after he contracted the disease in hospital where he had been under treatment for a month due to pneumonia.
'My beloved brother has passed on after a month of illness with pneumonia, a superbug contracted in hospital and then COVID-19 also contracted while he was being treated. He suffered a major cardiac arrest this evening,' Dhupelia-Mesthrie said in a social media post.
Besides Uma, Dhupelia is survived by another sister, Kirti Menon, who also lives in Johannesburg, where she is active in various projects honouring the Mahatma's memory.
The three siblings are the grandchildren of Manilal Gandhi who stayed back in South Africa to continue the Mahatma's work after his father returned to India on January 9, 2015.
Dhupelia, who spent most of his life in the media, as a videographer and photographer, was active in assisting the Gandhi Development Trust to continue the work started by the Mahatma at the Phoenix Settlement near Durban.
'I am in shock. Satish was a great humanitarian and activist,' political analyst Lubna Nadvi said.
Dhupelia was a member of the Board of the 1860 Heritage Foundation, which on November 16 commemorated the arrival of the first indentured labourers from India to work on the sugarcane fields of Durban.
On that day, in one of his last Facebook posts, Dhupelia wrote: 'Let us also not forget that we still need to stand together to achieve our final goals of equality for all and eradication of poverty.'.