Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Farewell to 'quick to smile' dad

Tania Broughton

April 21 2009 at 06:34AM

As two men appeared briefly in court charged with the murder of Richard Cassels last week, hundreds of people gathered in Durban to pay their last respects to "the man who was quick to smile".

Cassels, advertising director of TBWA/ Hunt Lascaris, died after being stabbed several times during a robbery at his Queens Avenue, Westville, home last week.

He had been at home with his 14-year-old son Justin and his adopted son, Eric, 20, when six armed men stormed in, stealing a television, cellphones and a pistol. They stabbed Cassels before fleeing.

On Monday, two men - Sakhi Shangase, 25, and Jabulani Maphumulo, 27 - made a brief appearance in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court in connection with the crime.

'This is not an advert. This is a stand we are taking in loving memory of Richard Cassels'
Their case was adjourned until November 28 for further investigation and they would remain in custody.

Cassels's murder stirred widespread anger in Durban's business community, which culminated on Monday in his advertising agency placing a full page advertisement in The Mercury under the heading "why", questioning how life could be taken so easily.

"This is not an advert. This is a stand we are taking in loving memory of Richard Cassels.

"Is this the price we pay for living in a beautiful country? Is this freedom? Is this human rights? Because if it is, you can take them all back."

But little was said about the actual incident at the emotional memorial service at Glenridge Church - a venue chosen because of its size.

Only Pastor Brett Nixon-James alluded to the crime when he said: "If Richard were here, he would say: 'Don't focus on the cause of death but on the reasons for living.' "

The simple service was dominated by an audiovisual presentation, music from Cassels's favourite band, U2, and moving tributes from friends, colleagues and his 18-year-old daughter Hayley, who spoke on behalf of her brothers.

James Porter, executive chairman of the TBWA group in Durban, described Cassels as a man who was always willing to learn.

"He lived and loved the industry," he said.

Porter said it had been decided in consultation with Cassels's children to set up a fund to assist the "rainbow nation" of underprivileged children at Addington Primary School.

"He would have liked to have helped. And through this Richard will live on."

This article was originally published on page 5 of The Mercury on April 21, 2009


No comments: