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Plea for jobs after suicide


An Ivory Park family has made an impassioned plea to government to create employment for youths as they believe that Thabang van Staden committed suicide because he was desperate for work. Thabang filmed his death in a live Tiktok video.

AN IVORY Park family has made an impassioned plea to government to create employment for youths as they believe that Thabang van Staden, 26, committed suicide because he was desperate for work.

His mother Caroline van Staden indicated that her son felt hopeless as he was unable to take care of his family. Thabang filmed his death in a live Tiktok video.

“He never complained or gave any indication that he would resort to taking his own life. I don’t have the strength to view the video of his death which he posted on Facebook. He was hard working and wanted to take care of me and his younger sister, as he was the only one bringing a bit of income into the house.

“He would take any employment opportunity that came his way. Thabang wanted to open his own business but there were never money for him to further his studies. He was always trying to improve his skills and was supposed to go for his driver’s licence on June 6 . . . instead we have to bury him.”

Shirley Arries stated that her nephew had volunteered at a soup kitchen after he left Truworths.

“He received a stipend which he used to support his family. We help each other where we can, but there is not always enough to go around.”

His uncle, Martin Hoogstander, said his nephew was accustomed to hardship and living in poverty.

“He grew up in a shanty in Ivory Park without electricity, running water, flushing toilets or basic services. His mother is a single parent and Thabang wanted to uplift his family as they are very close knit.”

He added that it was traumatic seeing his nephew’s lifeless body in the house.

“We would also like to highlight the impact that depression has on young people. We believe that his economic circumstances contributed towards his mental state as he was frustrated and wanted to work. He was always humble and respectful, he never caused any trouble.”

Hoogstander stated that Thabang had recently completed SAPS recruitment training but had not heard further news regarding possible employment.

“He always excelled in whatever he did whether, it was to answer the phone or serve at the cash desk. He even worked as a jump boy. Youths are under enormous pressure and are taking their lives because they cannot find work. We will bury Thabang this weekend if we manage to source enough funds as the family is struggling financially.”

In an unrelated incident the body of Damien van Nel, 22, was found at his home in Camelia Street, Roodepan, on June 6 after he committed suicide.

He was found in his mother’s bedroom after one of his friend’s came to check up on him.

Family members indicated that Van Nel’s mother died last year.

“Since her death, Damian has not been the same and they were extremely close.”

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Timothy Sam, said the Roodepan police were investigating two inquest case dockets following the death of a 26-year-old male in Ivory Park on June 4 and in another unrelated case the body of a 22-year-old male was found in Carmelia Street on June 6.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that no foul play is suspected. The investigations continue,” he added.

Neighbours and family watch as pathologist remove the body of Damian van Nel in Camelia Street, Roodepan. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Damian van Nel, Picture: Social Media
Shirley Arries and Martin Hoogstander, family members of Thabang van Staden who committed suicide live via social media on Saturday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

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