Tribute: ‘Remember him for how he would want to be remembered.’

Tribute to Warrant Officer Sascha Naidoo by former Newcastle Advertiser journalist, Talha Randeree:
To see the determination with which Sascha attempted to bring peace to Newcastle is to look beyond his more than impressive history as a law-enforcement officer.

Tribute to Warrant Officer Sascha Naidoo by former Newcastle Advertiser journalist, Talha Randeree:

“To really understand the value of a person, never look at how many people surround them when they were alive.

Rather look towards their passing to see their value.”

The words of a close confidant stuck with me as I stood helpless in the Mediclinic Newcastle passages.

A vacant expression on my face as the reality of who had been lost began to sink in.

The expression was commonplace among the hundreds who came to pay their respects that evening.

Tear-soaked cheeks glistened with the hopelessness of the situation’s reality.

Much like the twinkling of the stars glisten hopelessly to a man stranded at sea, with no means of changing his reality.

No matter how much we cried, pleaded or begged, the cold reality hit us all; Sascha Naidoo was gone.

Even now as these words fall to rest on the page.

The idea of Sascha entering his final rest fills the pits of one’s stomach with a sense of weightlessness and dread.

Sascha Naidoo is gone. In his wake he leaves behind his family; a family that extends beyond his loving wife and children.

No, Sascha’s family extends beyond even his siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces.

His family extends well into the community.

It extended to those members of the public whom he endeavoured day in and day out to provide with a sense of security.

A sense of protection, a sense of being able to live their lives in peace.

To see the determination with which Sascha attempted to bring this peace to Newcastle is to look beyond his more than impressive history as a law-enforcement officer.

Sascha was never one to say “I’m off-duty,” but rather if ever there was any help he could bring to any situation he put himself ‘on-duty’.

First in – last out; never afraid to go beyond what was expected to protect his community.

When taxi violence was threatening to break out, and various factions were close to blows in the rank.

Sascha stood at the head of the groups trying to bring peace.

When businesses in the CBD were losing customers because of the increase in pickpockets Sascha made it his goal to clean up the area.

When Sascha saw a need to help raise awareness against drug abuse and provide holistic environments for children in Fairleigh and Surayaville.

He partnered with various groups to help in whatever way he could to achieve this goal.

Sascha did not just help a select few individuals in Newcastle.

There is no denying, in some way or another, Sascha helped or brought some change to the lives of every Newcastllian.

Sascha was not just a cop or soldier and he was not just a pillar of support in the community. No, Sascha was much more, Sascha was a hero.

Yet even this hero was capable of being hurt.

Now, a wife has been deprived of her husband, a sibling their brother, a child their father, a community their hero.

Yet we must remember, tomorrow when his alleged murderer stands in court, do not call for unjust treatment.

Rather, rally together as a community and fill the courts by laying your support with the system Sascha believed in and fought for.

There would be no bigger tarnish to his name than for calling for something he would not believe in.

Remember Sascha for what he offered the world.

His smile beaming as he narrated another story from a recent arrest, or the stern yet caring approach he took with youth who delved into petty theft.

Remember him for how he would want to be remembered.

Also read: Letter: Untimely passing of a local hero

  AUTHOR
Zianne Leibrandt

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