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Peter Roebuck fell to his death from his Cape Town hotel room while being questioned by police about an alleged sexual assault, it has been reported. A police statement said the circumstances surrounding Roebuck's suicide were being investigated.
Western Cape provincial police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk was quoted by Reuters as saying that "a cricket commentator committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of his hotel." He died on impact.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck's employers, said he was questioned in his room at the Southern Sun Hotel by a Cape Town detective and a uniformed police officer from the sexual crimes unit from around 9 pm.
Roebuck, who the report said was agitated, asked a fellow cricket journalist for help. ''Can you come down to my room quickly? I've got a problem,'' he said. He asked for help to find a lawyer and for contact to be made with the students he helped to house in Pietermaritzburg, near Durban.
Minutes later, the Herald reported, Roebuck fell to his death from a window. It is believed only the uniformed officer was in the room. Paramedics rushed to the hotel but Roebuck was pronounced dead.
Police established a crime scene and took personal items from the room, including a laptop.
Colonel Vishnu Naidoo of the South African Police Services, told ESPNcricinfo that they suspect no foul play and that it was a suicide. He said there would be an inquest, after which the SAPS would make a statement; he said he expected that to be "next month".
In 2001 Roebuck received a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to common assault for caning three young South African cricketers he had been coaching. ''Obviously I misjudged the mood and that was my mistake and my responsibility, and I accept that,'' he'd said at the time.