Durban gender activist killed in Johannesburg

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Law lecturer and Helen Suzman Foundation researcher Arvitha Doodnath was shot dead in Johannesburg last week. Yesterday, her funeral was held at the Clare Estate Hall in Durban.

The 30-year-old reportedly visited a dancing event at the Hindu Temple in Mayfair, Johannesburg, and was returning home when she was killed. Her bullet-ridden car was found after 9pm on Saturday at the intersection of Jan Smuts Avenue and Upper Park Drive, Westcliff, not far from the Johannesburg Zoo.

“A white Ford Figo was found with bullet holes, and a lady who was inside the vehicle had been fatally shot,” Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed. “The motive for the crime is unknown as nothing has been taken from the car. We have no information and appeal to anyone with information to contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111.”

Originally from Durban, Doodnath moved to read law lectures at the Vaal University of Technology. She also worked on the National Health Insurance (NHI) and was known to start a campaign against gender-based violence after the murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

According to family spokesperson Tashya Giyapersad, the victim’s family are in shock and have difficulty to come to terms with the tragedy.

“She was a wonderful person who was a very educated cum laude student who finished her Master’s and had semi-completed her doctorate when this happened,” she mentioned.

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