Unemployed man survives two suicide attempts

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A 46-year-old unemployed Mpumalanga man survived two suicide attempts, including jumping from a hospital ward and landing two floors below.

The man, a divorcee, who was living with his parents in Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit, allegedly made the first attempt on his life on the night of May 9 2009 by swallowing the notorious "Ga le phirime" rat poison.

This was after his mother allegedly obtained a court order against his continued stay at her house because they were always quarreling over his dependency on her for maintenance.

He was was admitted in ward 6.7 at the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday morning.

On Thursday afternoon he allegedly jumped through the burglar-proofed window and landed on the fourth floor.

He survived the fall and is at present receiving treatment on the same floor where he landed.

A relative told Sowetan yesterday that his condition was improving though his speech was still incoherent.

She said they had not met anyone from the hospital to give them a full report on what took place that day.

According a relative he allegedly visualised people trying to kill him.

He then tried to run away from his attackers. The next thing was when he woke up in a hospital ward where he was told he had fallen from the sixth floor.

Since the Steve Biko Hospital opened its doors to patients about two years ago, Thursday's incident was the sixth of this kind.

Four of the first five suicides were fatal and one survived. The hospital had since installed burglar bars on windows and doors but reports of patients falling continue.

Repeated attempts since Friday to get comment from the Gauteng department of health were unsuccessful.