HIV teacher hangs himself

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo primary school teacher, who could not accept that he was HIV positive, took his own life by hanging himself.

The 39-year-old teacher from Bushbuckridge was found hanging from the branches of a tree on the outskirts of Namakgale township near Phalaborwa yesterday morning.

According to sources in the area the teacher, who cannot be named until his next-of-kin have been told, had earlier visited a local clinic for HIV-Aids tests.

Nurses there allegedly revealed the sad news that he was positive.

Our sources said counsellors had to fend off furious punches from the angry teacher who was shocked by the news.

"The guy ran amok soon after hearing the news that he had tested positive.

In a fit of rage, he stood up and wanted to assault everyone in the clinic, apparently because he could not accept the news of his status," said the source.

A suicide note was found next to the tree from which the man hanged himself.

The note has since been given to the police.

A neighbour of the deceased said they last saw him in the morning when he left home.

They were shocked to be told later that he had been found hanging from a tree.

Police spokesman Superintendent Ronel Otto confirmed the deceased was a teacher at a primary school in Bushbuckridge.

She said an inquest docket had been opened and that investigations were continuing.

Meanwhile, a 45-year-old member of the South African National Defence Force in Phalaborwa allegedly broke tables and chairs in the same counselling room recently.

This was after he had been told he would not be eligible to be posted on special assignments overseas because he was HIV positive.

Earlier this year a woman soldier assaulted a colleague after she allegedly revealed her HIV status publicly.

Police yesterday cautioned people not to take their lives when they experienced personal problems and to seek counselling.

"The guy ran amok after hearing he had tested positive"