Suicide at Hobie Beach

Lynn Williams

SHOCKED onlookers watched in horror as a Nelson Mandela Bay businessman put a gun in his mouth and shot himself in the parking lot at Hobie Beach yesterday morning.

Gelvan Park resident Jeffrey Sayster, 53 – father of popular former Nelson Mandela Bay model, Miss Port Elizabeth finalist and SABC1 and Bay FM television and radio presenter Lee-Ann Sayster – shot himself while sitting in the driver’s seat of his white Audi at about 10.30am.

The bloodied body of Sayster – who owned JDL Engineering in Neave Township – was found in his car with a single gunshot wound to the head.

His widow, Dawn, said the family did not want to comment at this stage.

The suicide caused a huge commotion as traumatised people ran in different directions, while others circled the car to get a closer look at what was going on.
As word spread, nearby businesses came to an abrupt standstill while passing motorists stopped to see what the commotion was about.

Car guard Sam Bebeza, who witnessed the incident, said he saw Sayster park his car and walk into the Boardwalk.

When Sayster returned some time later, Bebeza asked him for a tip.  Sayster gave him a R2 coin.

“The man got into his Audi and sat still. The next minute I saw he had a gun. He put the gun in his mouth and … he just shot himself. I got such a huge fright, I ran.”

A visibly shaken Bebeza said someone phoned for an ambulance and police were alerted.

“I have been a car guard here for  years, but it’s the first time that I have witnessed something like this,” he said.

“When he came to his car, he did not speak to me. He appeared normal and calm, and just gave me the money.”

Taxi driver Terence Williams said he was in his cab reading a newspaper when he became aware of the commotion. “I saw the guy sitting in the driver’s seat with his head tilted back like someone who is sleeping. You could see he was dead. There was no movement and a lot of blood.”

Williams had often seen Sayster in the vicinity.

Neither Williams nor Bebeza heard a gunshot.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the motive for the suicide was not yet known. A 9mm firearm was found inside the vehicle, as well as the bullet casing.

“We are investigating all possibilities.”  The vehicle has been impounded.

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