Within an hour of him taking his last breath, fellow City councillors and council staff were at the home of Wolfgat sub-council chairman and Tafelsig councillor Sheval Arendse who died last week.
On Tuesday August 13, when his condition had deteriorated, his colleagues, residents and family had rallied around him. And at 7am the following day, Sheval William Percy Arendse, 57, died at his Tafelsig home, surrounded by his wife Pamela and children.
To his family, he was a gentle giant and at the Wolfgat’s sub-council’s meeting on Thursday August 15, many remembered him as a joker.
At the end of last year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and about a month ago he had a stroke, which is when doctors found that the cancer had spread to his brain.
Ms Arendse said the past year had been particularly hard for the family as their pillar of strength and breadwinner had not been well.
We had to prepare ourselves for the worst,” she told the Plainsman. And her husband, a very private person, would not say when he was in pain, she added.
One of Mr Arendse’s daughter’s Elishia Ferguson said her father had always been “full of jokes”.
And, she said: “He did not make empty promises. He was always a man of his word. What he said is what he did.”
Her husband Craig, 35, followed in his father-in-law’s footsteps to become a law enforcement officer.
Mr Arendse was first employed by the City of Cape Town as a meter reader, before becoming a law enforcement officer and being elected as a ward councillor in the early 2000s.
Ms Ferguson said her father was strict but had a big heart.
“We have a lot of our dad in us. He was very stern but he was also very kind.”
She said while it was sad to not have him around, his death had brought the family closer.
Ward 79 councillor Solomon Philander, who chaired the sub-council meeting last week, said it was a sad day for their colleagues as just the day before they had gathered at Mr Arendse’s house.
“It was heartwarming to see the community mourning the loss of a father, husband, community member and neighbourhood watch member,” he said.
Mr Philander asked councillors and officials to stand for a moment of silence and that the flag be lowered in honour of Mr Arendse’s life.
“He was always laughing and making jokes,” he said.
And, he added, Mr Arendse was still joking, when they visited the day before he died.
Mayor Dan Plato said he was sad to hear about the passing of Mr Arendse. “I spoke with his family on the morning of his passing. I extended my deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.
The City of Cape Town hosted a memorial service at the Mitchell’s Plain Family and Youth Centre, in Tafelsig last night.
Mr Arendse is survived by his wife, six children – Vigil Arendse, 37, Elishia Ferguson, 34, Chad Arendse, 30, Raeeza Jansen, 22, Ezekiel Arendse, 20, and Eythan Arendse, 14 – and two grandchildren Zoey, 10, and Erica, 3.
A private viewing will take place at his house 20 Drakensberg Circle, in Tafelsig at 9am on Saturday August 24; followed by the funeral service at St Timothy’s Catholic church, 25 Mountain Street Tafelsig; and an official escort to Muizenberg cemetery via Baden Powell Drive.