Anele Tembe’s death places suicide back in the spotlight

The much-publicised death of Anele Tembe, fiancé of rapper AKA, who apparently fell from the 10th storey of a hotel in the city centre is also being treated as a suicide.

FILE: Kiernan 'AKA' Forbes (left) with his late fiance Anele 'Nellie' Tembe (right). Picture: @AKAworldwide/Instagram.

CAPE TOWN - More South Africans than ever are reaching out over suicidal thoughts.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on Monday said call volumes to its helpline remained at an all-time high, having doubled to more than 1,400 a day over the past year.

On average, the country sees 23 suicides a day, while 460 people attempt to take their own lives.

In George, police spent all night assisting a man who had threatened to leap from a building.

In Cape Town, another man attempted to take his own life along the N2 Highway.

The much-publicised death of Anele Tembe, fiancé of rapper AKA, who apparently fell from the 10th storey of a hotel in the city centre is also being treated as a suicide.

SADAG's Cassey Chambers said: “We hear more and more about it as it hit the press and social media.”

She said calls to their helpline continue to increase: “Just before lockdown, we got 600 a day and a year later, we are now looking at over 1,400 calls a day.”

Messages of comfort and condolences are being posted on social media following Tembe's death.

The couple had been visiting the Mother City over the weekend and attended various events mere hours before the tragedy.

An inquest docket has been opened by police who are looking for potential witnesses.

Her relatives said she would be remembered as a gifted, sweet-natured young woman.

For a suicidal emergency, contact SADAG on 0800 567 567/ 24hr Helpline 0800 456 789

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