FRANCISTOWN: A 39-year old Lance Corporal has allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope from the rafters of a servant quarters at 2 Military Garrison - Donga Botswana Defense Force (BDF) camp.
Confirming the incident, Francistown Police Station Commander, Mogomotsi Kesupile said the incident took place yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.
He said the soldier, who originates from Mmadinare did not leave any suicide note. It is alleged that the soldier was on duty when he took his own life. Kesupile stated that the matter was reported by the deceased's girlfriend.
The girlfriend is said to have found her boyfriend hanging lifeless from the rafters. “She reported that she thought her boyfriend left for work but later learnt when his colleagues were asking about his whereabouts that he did not report for duty. She started searching the house but spotted his cellular phone in the house,” he added.
Kesupile further said after searching and calling her boyfriend numerous times without an answer, the deceased’s girlfriend then found his body hanging motionless in the servant quarter.
Kesupile was concerned about the sudden rise in the suicide cases by law enforcement officers. He said that such behaviour calls for immediate interventions because these are the people who are perceived to understand the channels of addressing situations when one is distressed.
“As law enforcers we are the same people who encourage people to seek professional help when distressed by talking to counsellors, leaders and even one friend or colleague. But with the situation at hand, there is a need for more to be done to address the matter,” he added. This is not the first incident involving a soldier committing suicide whilst on duty.
A week ago there were reports by BDF spokesperson Mogosi Moshagane in a recent media statement that an unnamed soldier committed suicide in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique where SADC African troops are battling Islamist insurgents. This incident happened a month after another soldier, a major killed a private and turned a rifle on himself.