By Zoe Papadakis

A 35-year-old man is dead after he allegedly jumped from the 21st floor of a Durban beachfront hotel last Friday afternoon. Initial reports stated that the man had booked himself into the hotel and jumped from the window of the room he was staying in.

Police confirmed the incident, with Captain Nqobile Gwala of SAPS stating that the man jumped from a hotel room at around 1:45pm, landing on the second floor. He was certified dead at the scene and an inquest docket was opened at Point police station.

This is not the first suicide to take place along the Marine Parade. The highly publicised case, in which a 47-year-old policeman plunged to his death after jumping from the 10th floor of a Durban hotel, made headlines in July last year. There was also the incident during which a 64-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of an uMhlanga hotel in December 2015.

There have been various incidents of suicide reported in Durban this year alone. Earlier this year a 31-year-old woman allegedly hung herself in the holding cells of the Magistrate’s Court in Durban, while being on trial for stealing six plastic chairs. In a separate incident, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly rushed to hospital after attempting to commit suicide after she was unable to enrol into high school for not having a birth certificate.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), there are 23 completed suicides in South Africa every day and, for every suicide, there are 20 attempted suicides.

“75% of people tell the next person about someone they know who has attempted suicide,” said Clinical Psychologist and SADAG Board Member Zamo Mbele. “Therefore, it is vital for family members and loved ones to know the warning signs and symptoms of suicide.”

According to SADAG, the warning signs included previous suicide attempts, talk about death or suicide, prevalence of depression and signs of serious depression.

For more information, contact the SADAG suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or by smsing 31393. Alternatively, contact the LifeLine Durban Crisis Line on 031 312 2323.

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