Jody Botha, who was accused of racism, allegedly committed suicide as his trial began, where he was supposed to provide proof of his bipolar disorder claims.

In October 2022, Botha reportedly assaulted Mpho Mbhele, calling him a derogatory term and dragging him on the street outside a restaurant in Meyerton, Midvaal.

A video of the incident went viral on social media, prompting political parties to assist Mbhele in opening a case against Botha.

On 3 February, Botha’s legal team claimed he had bipolar disorder at the time of the assault and had been hospitalized several times due to his mental illness.

The court ordered the legal team to provide medical proof of Botha’s illness on the next court date, but on 9 March, his legal team presented a death certificate stating that Botha had died on 21 February.

The court subsequently dismissed the case.

A source close to Botha’s family provided a suicide note in which Botha apologized for his actions and stated that his name was ruined after the video went viral.

Mbhele thanked ANC supporters for their assistance and expressed a desire to know why Botha chose to take his own life instead of facing the law.

ANC Midvaal secretary Molifi Mosala stated that the party would demand to see the postmortem results of Botha’s death and take Mbhele to the prosecutor to hold Botha’s death certificate to help him find closure.