Johannesburg – Friends and relatives arrived in a state of shock at the Emmerentia home to console the parents of a 15-year-old girl who hanged herself on Wednesday and filmed her suicide.
The girl used a dog leash to hang herself from a security gate on Wednesday afternoon while her mother was at home.
The police found a digital camera where she hanged herself and it is now in their possession.
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Police superintendent Chris Wilken said the girl’s room looked out on the garden around the house.
”The security gate from which she hanged herself is in front of a sliding door opening to the garden,” said Wilken on Thursday.
The girl apparently told her mother she was going to lie down on the bed in her room. Her father was at a cafe nearby.
First filmed suicide
On his return, he and his wife found their daughter’s body in her room.
The family was too shocked and traumatised to speak about the suicide on Thursday.
It is not clear how the camera was positioned to film the suicide.
Pretoria forensic criminologist Dr Pixie du Toit, who is doing research into teenage suicides, said it was the first time she’d experienced one where the youngster had filmed the deed.
”It’s the first time I’ve heard of this. It might be associated with new technology – instead of a letter, using a camera to give a message.
”Suicide has a contagious element and the case worries me personally because similar ones may start cropping up.
Usually are planned in advance
”The incident is particularly unusual because filming the suicide has an element of violence which does not ordinarily occur among teenage girls who commit suicide.”
Du Toit said suicides were planned for a long period and did not have only a single cause.
The suicide help line number for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is: 0800 567 567.