HomeLocalHardships in SA blamed for increase in suicides

Hardships in SA blamed for increase in suicides

What made the situation even more tragic is that three weeks earlier, Masese’s wife Nyarai Chiwandire had committed suicide in the exact manner and at almost the same spot.

Chiwandire had taken the leap of death with the young Zimbabwean couple’s two children — one only six days old while the other was four months shy of her second birthday.

The couple had just been blessed with a baby-boy and naturally, Masese was ecstatic as he had wanted a son, as they already had a daughter.
He told South African media that in his excitement he had bought expensive baby clothes, but his wife’s actions had robbed him of a chance to have a family.

“I can forgive her but I can’t forget. It will tick in my heart forever,” he said.

Masese received counselling in the aftermath of the tragic death of his wife and children, telling the media he had no clue what led his wife to commit suicide.

After receiving guidance many thought Masese, who moved to South Africa four years ago, had put the dark event behind him, but alas, there was yet to be a cruel twist of fate.

An official at Metrorail said the consequences surrounding Masese’s wife’s suicide had been tragic and they offered the bereaved husband counselling.
“Masese had attended two counselling sessions and was scheduled for a third when he too decided to end his life,” Riana Scott, the utility’s spokesperson, said.

It seems Masese was still haunted by the death of his wife and children and the heart-broken 31-year -old father decided to take his life.
South African authorities are still baffled at what could have led the Zimbabwean couple to take such drastic measures, but unfortunately, they may never know the answers.


A rights organisation, People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (Passop), said this incident was only a microcosm of the psycho-social and psychological problems many Zimbabweans faced in South Africa.

“In our view, this tragic incident illustrates the psycho-social and psychological problems caused by the many hardships that Zimbabweans are going through in South Africa,” Langton Mariyoga said in emailed responses.

Passop has long been fighting for the rights of Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa, particularly over discrimination at workplaces and the xenophobic violence many have been subjected to.

The organisation says Zimbabweans, mainly illegal immigrants, who fled the economic and social decline in Zimbabwe, were finding it difficult to integrate into communities in South Africa. An estimated three million Zimbabweans live in South Africa.

Just before his death, Passop had issued a number of alerts looking for Masese, fearing for his life, but this was in vain, as he died the following morning.

“Among other things, we will also facilitate counselling of some of the close relatives who have been directly affected by this tragedy so that they are able to recover from grief,” Mariyoga said.

Gabriel Shumba, of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), said his organisation had intervened in many trauma cases that they had been referred for psycho-social support.

“However, these are limited owing to lack of resources, in addition to the fact that many cannot access them,” he said.

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