Attorney’s ‘tragic death’ leaves a void for many
THEASEN Pillay will always be remembered for his humanitarian work and the lives he touched.
That’s according to close friends of the popular Durban attorney who was found dead at his home last week.
On Friday, Prem Balram, the director at Reaction Unit South Africa, said a relative of Pillay’s contacted them for assistance.
“Paramedics were dispatched to the scene and on arrival found Pillay in his bedroom. He suffered stab wounds to his arm and chest … It was established that Pillay left a suicide note at his offices in Umhlanga, prior to leaving the premises this morning.
“His employees discovered the note and called him.
“During a telephonic conversation, he assured them that he was fine and needed some time alone. They then informed his family and requested that they check on him. His brother went to his apartment and gained access with a set of spare keys when he made the discovery.”
Pillay was known for taking on many medical-legal cases for patients who had suffered injury and loss in state hospitals.
Long-time friends of Pillay said they were shocked at the news of his death.
Omi Singh, a former member of Parliament, said he knew Pillay for a decade.
“I have known Theasen to be a respectful, community-minded attorney who took social responsibility seriously.
“He was an affable person, he had many friends, and was always willing to help if he could. His tragic demise is indeed a loss to the community.”
Logie Naidoo, the former eThekwini speaker, said Pillay's passing will leave a void for many people.
“I knew his dad, Deena Pillay, very well. He was a former councillor and architect. I met Theasen through the social circuits. He was always jovial and full of life. Apart from being the life of the party, he also put humanity and other people first.
“There were many charity drives or community projects that I would attend and he would be there contributing.”
Viresh Panday, the founder of Food For Life Africa, said Pillay's dedication and genuine compassion for those less fortunate would be sorely missed.
“Food For Life Africa was just one of a host of NPOs and charities that he supported ardently. During the hard lockdown last year Theasen co-ordinated the collection of over 11 tons of rice for Food For Life Africa and through his dedicated efforts, we managed to feed an extra 300 000 kids.
“He was also involved in an ongoing Thankful Thursday programme through his charity TPA Humanity in a solid partnership with Food For Life Africa. By this co-ordination we were able to prepare unprecedented numbers of meals distributed to a wide spectrum of communities in the greater Durban area.”
Rajendra Nathalall, an attorney said Pillay was his candidate attorney when he was just starting out.
“He was under my company and I took a liking to him and kept him under my wing until he moved out on his own.
“He was a wonderful person and always insisted that we do coffee together but unfortunately we did not get that chance.
“He was very hard working, he was a well-established attorney who loved to serve his community. For these things, he will be missed.”
Shoba Mohangi, a close friend to Pillay, described him as the epitome of friendship, respect, and kindness.
“He was such a humble soul who was willing to help people. In 2018 we went to India for Republic Day. I was not supposed to go but Theasen insisted I join. He also helped me to sort out my paperwork.
“He was a wonderful person and when he was around all eyes were on him. He also loved to serve the community and help people. His death is a tragic loss to humanity.”
Pillay’s funeral will take place today at the River Range Ranch in Verulam. Thereafter the body will be moved to the Clare Estate Crematorium for cremation.