Radio presenter dies in suicide pact

2012-01-24 10:00
Seugnet Esterhuyse
Johannesburg - One of two employees of Radiokansel who made a suicide pact committed suicide at the weekend after the other did not want to go through with it.

"Sorry to everyone. I'm done with life, don't call anymore please," read the last SMS that Josie Raath, presenter on Radiokansel and director of the station's Goeie Nuus Tyd and Spektrum programmes, sent to his loved one on Saturday before he presumably overdosed on pills.

Raath, 48, suffered from depression. His body was found early on Sunday in a guesthouse in Margate, KwaZulu-Natal. He worked for Radiokansel for the last five years.

The other member of the pact was Christa Petersen Johnson, daughter of Dr Roelf Petersen, CEO of the station. According to a statement from Radiokansel, she withdrew herself from the pact on Friday.

Radiokansel's communications manager Marthie Duvenage confirmed in the statement that Raath and Johnson wanted to commit suicide together.

Johnson declined to comment on Monday.


Raath resigned last Monday via SMS. According to Duvenage, Raath gave no reasons for his resignation.

She said Radiokansel's management is still in the dark about the reasons for Raath's actions.

"Some of his colleagues and friends believe that the recent disintegration of his engagement was the main reason," said Duvenage.

According to an article that appeared in Sondag newspaper Raath said Radiokansel "stole his love for Jesus". He expressed his dissatisfaction about nepotism at the station.

"I will take my own life. Radiokansel destroyed the Jesus I know with nepotism, corruption and hypocrisy," he said, according to the article.

Duvenage, however, said that each staff member is appointed according to a strict employment policy and on merit, regardless of whether the applicant has family at the radio station.

'Very depressed'

Raath also said in the article that it's not only Radiokansel who drove him to suicide, but also a woman named Katryn le Roux.

According to Duvenage, Raath has had a long history of emotional problems, which affected his relationships inside and outside the work environment.

Ina Snyman, a longtime friend of Raath, was one of the last people to speak to Raath.

"He phoned me around 18:30 on Saturday and informed me that he is going to take his own life," said Snyman.

"He was very depressed and didn't want to continue with the hardships of this life."

Raath is survived by his three children.


  • Zion - 2012-01-24 09:54

    Would a man who knows he is about to die lie about the working problems. Especially a man who is a Christian?

      Leon - 2012-01-24 10:23

      duh. if his christian values were important to him, he would not have taken his own life, so yes, he would very easily lie to justify his actions. your comment and my response is extremely insensitive. the man just passed away and were judging him based on a opinions and heresay

      Silvana - 2012-01-24 10:25

      It depends on how he perceived the situation. There's a difference between perception and reality.

      tony.delucchi - 2012-01-24 10:44

      ....I really do hope that the medical field will concentrate on ways of preventing depression from putting a person into such a frame of mind allowing them to take such tragic steps!

      Zion - 2012-01-24 10:46

      With all respect to the deceased, I was only questioning human nature not necessarily the person in question.

      Nico - 2012-01-24 10:48

      Leon its funny, in your comment it looks like you are the one with the beam in his eye's. Josie suffered from depression. I listen to Radiokansel often and can easily understand Josie's issues Radiokansel is not one of the brightest lights for Christianity.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-24 11:39

      Tony.delucchi. If health insurance would pay for ant-depressant medicine, more people will be able to take it. It is really unfair that they don't.

      Fred - 2012-01-24 12:52

      Would a Christian lie? Never. Not like Hansie and Joost.

      dean.obree - 2012-01-24 13:33

      Hey people a person died here, irrespective of the enviroment or circumstance. There are loved ones, friends and family that all lost. He is a Chritian by faith and was first and foremost a human being with a clinical sickness. Passing comment or judgement is now in hindsight and disrespectful. GOD is a GOD of love and construction, the thief comes to steal rob and destroy. When you come under attack, it is when you are at your weeakest and lowest spiritually, mentally or physically. If we all got what we deserved, not one of us would be here. Abba Father, I come to you in the name of your son Jesus and I ask that you you forgive us all our multiple sins. Father I lift Josie Raath's soul to you now for your victory.I lift his family, friends and loved ones to you, that your peace and grace can flow over them all. I ask for this through the blood of Jesus. Amen.

      Spyker - 2012-01-24 14:17

      People hardly ever commit suicide for one reason only. It is most often a culmination of matters and almost always the product of an environment in which the person can no longer function. As with 'farm-murders', the SAcan Police refuse to publish such statistics, as it would vividly demonstrate the ANC's program of ETHNIC CLEANSING. Suicide among white middle-aged men in SA, is another element of the ANC's program of ETHNIC CLEANSING - if the police publish such statistics, the reality will become vividly evident. Do we recall the suicide of Chris Louw late in 2009..? He clearly stated that his primary motive was his disillusionment with the post-apartheid regime that he helped to establish. This is a matter that needs to be taken to the international media - viz the monster that was created by the sanctions imposed on SA (pre-’94), is FAR WORSE that what preceded it...

  • yolie.Landa - 2012-01-24 10:55

    Some of his colleagues and friends believe that the recent disintegration of his engagement was the main reason," One would think getting engaged and adding another person will make one happy/ hppier. But NO, it is the start of many problems. May he RIP even though i have never heard of him before

  • Elize Swart - 2012-01-24 11:15

    I'm dissapointed in the person who wrote this article it reads very iritatingly Raath every second word and did you know that Radiakansel is Radio Pulpit! Very bad grammer to keep on gaaning aan about Radio Kansel in afr when they have a eng name aswel.

      Ann - 2012-01-24 11:33

      "Grammer"? "Aswel"? "Radiakansel"? "iritatingly"? "a eng"?** Suggest you do a spell check before commenting on someone else's bad grammar! **grammar, as well, radiokansel, irritatingly, an eng

      Chris - 2012-01-24 12:43

      Eish Elize...any chance of getting your school fees refunded? They were obviously wasted...

      Piet - 2012-01-24 13:29

      elise you like spell very deliciously

      Dennis - 2012-01-24 14:23

      @ann : Well said !! Not a lot of people left in the world who enjoy the English language as is was meant to be written !!

  • Tertia - 2012-01-24 12:16

    Dont judge people! Being a Christian doesnt mean you are perfect, nor does it mean that you are excempt for life's pressures and stres, nor is any promise of smooth sailing given to you!

      Colin - 2012-01-25 10:51

      agreed.depression can hit anybody and sometimes when people see no way out , its the end of the road.lets hope he made it to the right place for eternity

  • Vusi - 2012-01-24 12:19


  • Fred - 2012-01-24 12:48

    I see my comment have been deleted by Christians who are obviously very sensitive about my exposing the fact that that people who do not believe in the myth of an afterlife are far less likely to commit suicide than those that do. Life on Earth would be better if everyone realised that people only got one chance at life.

      Colin - 2012-01-25 10:52

      have you got proof that the afterlife is a myth.when you have it.let us the meantime i am taking my insurance policy called Jesus

      Charmaine - 2012-01-27 12:00

      If the disciples and the other 100's of people did not see Jesus alive after His resurrection, they would not have been prepared to die the horrible deaths, that they did. I pray for you, Fred, to be able to realise, repent and Accept Christ as the 1 and only Savior before it is too late. I guarantee you that there IS a LIFE AFTER this 1.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-24 12:57

    Rest in peace

  • lance.rothschild - 2012-01-24 13:12

    RIP Josie. Condolences to his friends and family.

  • WarrenStylin - 2012-01-24 13:32

    Who cares about why he did it. The fact is, that it was his choice. He made up his mind and did what he wanted. It's his human right to choose. Why live in a world that you don't want to be in. He didn't have a choice to be born but it was his own choice to die. Not every person that smiles at you is happy.

      Heiku - 2012-01-24 13:46

      I think it's actually illegal to commit suicide at stupid as that sounds.

  • Dannielle - 2012-01-24 14:37

    Not to be disrespectufl, but News 24 needs to get better proof readers...How does a man that commited suicide, comment the following? "Raath also said in the article that it's not only Radiokansel who drove him to suicide, but also a woman named Katryn le Roux." please correct me if im wrong....

  • ailsa.j.loudon - 2012-01-24 14:51

    I feel for his family! I hope they know they could have done nothing for him!

  • Patsy - 2012-01-24 15:27

    Don't judge anyone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. A very wise saying and very true. No-one who isn't a depressive knows exactly what another depressive goes through. It is like a cancer of the mind. Although I don't know them, my deepest sympathies go to his family and friends

      amelia.vandermerwe1 - 2012-01-24 15:42

      This is the honest truth, many people won't believe this, one depressed human can understand what he/she are going through, because he/she has been there.... LIKE THE SAYING GOES...... BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, DID NOT SUCCEED THOUGH

  • Sylvia - 2012-01-24 15:41

    This is very sad. RIP Josie.

  • tsedi.motuba.makhele - 2012-01-24 15:57

    He had underlying issues. this story is not complete

  • marieta.greyling1 - 2012-01-24 16:37

    It is very sad to hear how he died but I can not beleive it is the work place that caused it. I knew him, worked with him, and learned a few lessons in life while working with him. Each one of us has a choice to make in life - Choose life - the word says. Each one of us can honestly say that life gets to much for us at some time... We have a choice to make. Josie made his own choice ... a choice that started years ago. I pray for his family and friends but to say that a company can steal Jesus from you - NO WAYS. The company, the church, your spouse etc can only steal Jesus from you if you let them. Josie left a lot of good on the earth - lets try not to judge in this situation.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-01-24 18:07

      What happens if it is in fact "Jesus" or the pressure of living up to that kind of standard that was the cause?

  • Leendert - 2012-01-24 16:50

    Am I the only one who finds it 'ironic' that he complains of nepotism and then gets the boss' daughter to commit suicide?

      marieta.greyling1 - 2012-01-24 17:11

      Good point...

  • aletta.hollierroos - 2012-02-06 13:04

    How sad that A CHRISTIAN COMPANY will not stand up and accept their responsibility in contributing to this man's tragedy! The Board of Directors owe it to honor this Man's memory and get rid of this evil destructive 'PERSON' within the organisation. MANAGEMENT was aware of this Man's state of mind, yet they did NOTHING to prevent it!

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