Man found dead

THE friends and family of Deon Pretorius (50) were left devastated after Pretorius was found hanging from a tree in a vacant plot at Palm Road in Sea Park on Tuesday morning.

According to police, Pretorius was found by a neighbour who was leaving for work and who alerted the local authorities.

Pretorius, who was well known in the Port Shepstone community for transporting local pupils, will be remembered as a “friendly and talkative person” said his friend of 15 years, Danie van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe said he and all those close to Pretorius are still reeling in shock over the incident.

“I am at a loss for words. He was such a good person.

“Back in the day he used to be in the ministry and he recently he joined the taxi business.

“Everyone knew him as a friendly person who spoke to everyone.

“He was such a good father to his daughter,’ said van der Merwe.

Pretorius is survived by his wife and daughter.

Speaking on suicide, operations director at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) Cassey Chambers said it was often at times hard to tell whether a person was contemplating suicide and the widespread myths about suicide upheld in society contributed to sustaining the social stigma of suicide.

Many people believe that if someone talks about suicide they are unlikely to actually do anything to harm themselves, and that suicide is always an impulsive act.

However, this is not necessarily correct.

“Many people who die by suicide have communicated their feelings, thoughts or plans before their death. They have also contemplated taking their own life before the act,” said Chambers.

She said suicide attempts or acts of self-harm may sometimes occur following an acute stressor (such as the break-up of a relationship or following an intense argument) but the event is a behavioural trigger not a cause of sui-cide.

“The intensity of suicide waxes and wanes as many people who attempt or commit suicide struggle with their conviction to die.

“Many people who commit suicide suffer from mental disorders that may or may not have been recognised,” said Chambers.

Port Shepstone SAPS spokesperson Captain Petros Mpinge said an inquest docket has been opened for investigation by Southport Detective Service.

The Sadag suicide crisis line is 0800 567 567.