A life of brutality: The unspoken rise of police suicide

“I drunk myself fucked up, picked up my gun and I wanted to do it.”

But the seasoned detective, at that stage a rookie, was afraid he would botch his suicide, and mustered the courage to contact his station commander. 

He had sought relief in the bottle early in his career, he told the Mail & Guardian, but has been sober for 16 of his 20 years with the South African Police Service (SAPS), something he credits to formal rehabilitation and the will to improve his life. 

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