The House that GV Naidu Built
La Mercy, Durban, South Africa
This is the house that GV Naidu built, that’s how the now dilapidated old family house just a few kilometres north of the Umdloti River has been fondly branded by locals over the past 84 years.
The property has been in the Naidu family for over 100 years. The house was built by Gurusamy Veerasamy Naidu in 1926. The house served as a beach cottage for weekends and family getaways.
Across the M4, which was built in the1960s, lay the original garden gate and pump for water and a power generator. The driveway was lined with casuarina trees, from which the surrounding beach derived its name.
Initially, it was built as a single storey house with a huge roof garden. In the 1960s the top floor was added. It had lead stained-glass windows and doors with pictures of ships, a Victorian-style bathroom and the house was built with teak (wood).
Many movies were shot at the property. One of them, shot in the 80s, was called Heart of the Matter.
Mr GV Naidu's son and daughter-in-law lived here with their children during the 1980s. When Mr Naidu Jr. passed away in 1994, his wife moved from the property to live with her children on the Berea. The house was left fully furnished. On arrival a month later, the furniture and stained glass windows were removed. To date, vandals have stripped the property to its core including the roof.
Today, the house stands forlornly overlooking the ocean. Only the wind moves along the passages through its six bedrooms, two lounges, two kitchens and bathroom.
Extracted from an article that appeared in the Independent on Saturday