Man hangs himself under ‘Don’t stress’ billboard

In

what could be construed as a cruel twist of fate, a man hanged himself in Johannesburg underneath a

billboard that reads “Don’t stress”.

According to eyewitness

accounts, the unidentified man took off all his clothes and hanged himself from

a palisade fence on Empire Road, Auckland Park,

with his belt.

Witnesses said before he

committed suicide he had not acted out of the ordinary.

Gerald Ndlovu, a security

guard for a company that operates from a building opposite the site of the

incident, said: “He was sitting on the traffic barricade.

Then he whistled at a lady

who was carrying a baby wrapped in a pink blanket on her back. When she didn’t

pay him any attention, he walked across the road and walked up the hill leading

to the palisade fence.”

Ndlovu’s colleague, Bushi

Mtakwende, said it seemed as if the man wanted to jump over the fence because

his leg was on top of it.

Mtakwende said: “We were

wondering what he was trying to do. Then he took off his shirt. We then went on

with our own business.”

Gary Bennet from Aquila, a company that provides emergency services, said

they had received a call from someone in the building across the palisade fence

saying that a man was hanging from it.

Bennet said: “When we got

there 5 to 10 minutes later, he was already dead. We cut his belt and then put

his clothes on top of him. He had no identification on him.”

Peet van der Merwe, a

caretaker for a school that shares its fence with that on which the man killed

himself, said he got there just before emergency services arrived.

Van der Merwe said: “It

was just after 11am. I saw his body hanging from the fence, and all his clothes

lying next to him. He had shaved hair, and looked quite young. He could have

been in his late 20s.”

When City Press left the

scene after 1pm, the police had not yet arrived. Metro Police officers on the

scene could not provide any further information.

The man’s body lay in the

sun, covered in a foil sheet, with brown shoes and a black jacket next to it.


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