Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Suicide in our communities

Makhotla Sefuli

Gift Rampai

Matjhabeng local municipality

Free State Province

22nd May 2022

 

#suiciedeinourcommunities

 

Gold and Uranium Belt Impact Censory Organization (GUBICO) ground investigative monitors noted that our communities are facing a real struggle in these tough times of modern living and its economic and social pressure that come with it

 

On the 13th May 2022 at around 15h00 it was discovered that a 58 year old man has hung himself in his own home, he was a local member of the community and his name was ntate Tladi Modisenyane who resided at Orange Grove in Thabong.

 

His body was discovered by his friend who came to borrow a spare wheel. He has come to his friend’s house because he was not answering his phone, he assumed that he must home because his car was parked in the driveway. Under normal circumstances around the times of between 11h00 and 12h00 he’s not supposed to be at home since he was employed as a taxi driver.

 

Upon investigation, our ground investigator learned that his friend knocked and left as there was no response and he assumed that he may not be home, but he soon realized that he was still in great need of a spare wheel and he had no choice but to go back to ntate Tladi’s home as he was certain that it is the only place that has the spare wheel that is compatible to his own his friend won’t mind him one.

 

By then it was 15h00 as he went there for the second time and he also realized that the car keys were still on the ignition and that itself was a clear indication that he must be home.

He knocked until he let himself in as there was no response, only to descover the lifeless body of his friend hanging from the rafters.

 

On gathering more facts we learned that alerted the neighbors of his gruesome discovery and they came to witness what has happened but it was too late as ntate Tladi has already passed on and he might have evidently took his own life.

It was a sad story for the neighborhood as he has just recently lost his wife through maternal death while in labour. An inquest was opened but the probability is that what precipitated his suicide is the trauma he endured after the loss of his beloved wife.

 

The nearest next of kins were contacted and the police and paramedics but the police took almost two and a half hours to respond to the scene. On deep inquiry at the scene it was discovered from his family members that he’s been suicidal for some time.

His intentions were driven by the fact that he felt responsible for the death of his wife because he allowed his wife and the baby to live in poor conditions.

 

All these feelings guilt were exarsebated by his in laws who accused him of killing their child and that is suspected to have driven him into severe depression. The most unfortunate part is that depression is still lightly in our black communities.

 

During the hours preceding the police’s arrival the paramedics informed the community members who gathered there that they could not bring him down before the police arrived so that they could check and do the due diligence so that paramedics can do their job. That led to ntate Tladi hanging there for hours while waiting for the police.

 

The general conclusion of this case by our monitor is that :-

 

  1. The response from the police was very poor and their service was lackluster, on further investigation it was discovered that the police are over stretched and under resourced. As a result they had to make a culculated decision between responding to a death or life threatening situation first or confirm of the tentative death first, difficult decisions they have to make in most cases.

 

  1. Depression is a serious matter in our society, this is just but one isolated case but in our society this is the topic that is not taken seriously. Only when celebrities or prominent members of society die in this manner that the issue becomes a topic for the week and thereafter it dies down. As Gubico we intend to have a program to highlight this problem in our society even though it is a long shot. We have started to identify organizations that can work with us and those that can provide training for our members to broaden access to such services.

 

  1. The family should have done more to help him deal with his loss. It is sad to see an elderly person leave the earth under such circumstances as that could have been prevented

 

  1. With so much advancements in our medical field and extensive training of our personnel in this field, it is quite tragic to witness new cases of maternal deaths.

 

This has become an area of interest and intervention within our organization when we reflect and understand that there are many young people who are also in need of such a service due to the general economic pressures and other factors we are yet to explore