Woman dies on way to brother’s funeral


TRAGEDY struck a well-known Port Elizabeth family twice in as many days when a woman, rushing to the city after her brother died of a heart attack, suffered the same fate on her way to the airport.

Urshula Moodley 59, went into cardiac arrest on Friday as she and her husband Thangoo, 63, were driving to the OR Tambo I nternational Airport to fly to the city to attend her brother Cresen Balakistnen’s funeral.

Balakistnen, 55, collapsed and died of a heart attack while on his regular morning run in Malabar on Friday morning.

Moodley was taken to hospital in Sandton where she died in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Balakistnen was a well-known marathon runner and the founder of the Malabar Road Runners.

He was also a prominent leader in the Hindu community who spearheaded matters of cultural and spiritual work in Port Elizabeth.

Shell-shocked friends and family are still battling to come to terms with the deaths of the siblings, who were described as very close.

A family friend, who did not want to be named, said: “The family is torn apart. Urshula was in the car on her way to her brother’s funeral when suddenly she had a serious blockage. She was taken to the hospital where she passed on. “It’s very sad.” Urshula’s brotherin-law, Rajan Moodley, said she had lived in Gauteng for 19 years.

He was speaking from Johannesburg where he and other family members attended her cremation ceremony yesterday.

The couple were on their way to Port Elizabeth, he said.

“She suddenly took ill on Friday in the car and was rushed to a hospital in Sandton for an emergency operation, but she did not survive.”

Urshula is survived by her husband and son Deetan, 34.

Balakistnen, who was cremated on Sunday, is survived by his wife Thina, 47, and son Pranavan, 26.

-Hendrick Mphande

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