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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