Mentally unstable woman leaps to her death from falls

2015-04-01 00:00

THE uMngeni Municipality is “seriously considering” placing signs with Lifeline’s tollfree number around the guard-rail of Howick Falls.

This was after Howick resident Sue Nossiter, whose family said she suffered for years from an undiagnosed mental illness, plunged from the top of the falls on Monday night.

uMngeni municipal spokesperson Thando Mgaga said they were deeply saddened by the incident and had taken measures to prevent people falling or jumping from the viewpoint by erecting guardrails.

“Measures have been put in place, such as the guardrailings, but we are seriously considering placing signs with Lifeline’s number at the viewpoint,” said Mgaga.

KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the K9 Search and Rescue Unit received a call from the Howick police yesterday morning about a woman who had gone missing around the Howick Falls area late on Monday night.

“The unit arrived at the scene and was briefed by the family that Nossiter had driven to the Howick Falls late on Monday and abandoned her car.

“The team searched the top area of the falls with their dogs, and then searched down in the gorge among the vegetation.

“They crossed the stream and saw what appeared to be a body, and swam across and recovered Nossiter’s body,” he said.

Nossiter’s nephew Ryan Swart said his aunt had suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness for the past three years.

“It got progressively worse. She had agreed to meet with a doctor from a care centre today [yesterday] at 2 pm. She said she would go.”

Swart said he remembered his aunt as a loving and caring person who always looked after people in the family whenever they were ill. “She was always very caring and helpful and the family was close to her,” he said.

Zwane said there had been three suicides at Howick Falls in the past year.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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