Pretoria - A man thought to be a lecturer at the University of Pretoria jumped to his death in an apparent suicide on Wednesday, in what became the second suicide in 24 hours in the city.
The 44-year-old male lecturer apparently jumped from the 23rd floor of the Humanities building at the Hatfield campus, landing on a ledge of the sixth floor. He died on impact.
The incident put a temporary halt on operations on the campus as students, lecturers and other staff gathered around the cordoned-off area to watch as emergency vehicles retrieved the body, brought it down and put it into a pathology vehicle.
“We can confirm an incident this morning that led to the death of a person on our Hatfield campus.
“A police investigation is under way,” university spokeswoman Nicolize Mulder said.
She said it was not a student as widely reported soon after the incident, adding that no more information on the matter could be released, pending notification of the dead man’s next of kin.
Social media platforms were abuzz as soon as the incident took place. Pictures of the rescue mission by the City of Tshwane emergency workers were posted, as speculations on the reasons for jumping were made.
Some students blamed stress for the suicide, while others said loneliness and a lack of a confidant could have led to the jump.
“All he needed was somebody to listen to him, and encourage him.. Life is cruel,” Benjamin tweeted, while Christopher wrote: “SPEAK to someone when you feel its too much for people!!!”
User @Nellykins blamed the deceased for taking his life and breaking the hearts of his family by committing suicide: “Stay strong,” she said.
Others bemoaned the fact that it was the second suicide within a few hours of another, asking what was wrong with men in the city.
A security guard jumped to his death at the Menlyn Mall on Tuesday, throwing himself from the top floor on to a shopping level and attracting a lot of social media attention. Blogger @Iamselby called the news very sad while @ROZA_Nangok suggested more research into the causes of suicide had to be done in an effort to find solutions. “We are losing the country’s intelligentsia,” she said.
Emergency personnel and vehicles from the City of Tshwane were called in to bring the body of the man down from the ledge. Spokesman Johan Pieterse said: “We took the body down from the sixth floor and can’t give much information other than that.”