Dying for a job: Lungile Wambi (30)

2013-02-03 09:59

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The tragic deaths of eight people in a fitness test for aspirant traffic officers have been forgotten all too soon. Sphumelele Mngoma revisits their stories.

Disappointed about failing a similar test in Cape Town, Wambi travelled from Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape to Pietermaritzburg to participate in the Road Traffic Inspectorate test.

Speaking from Mount Fletcher, his elder brother Mthetho confirmed Wambi was recently eliminated from a similar selection process in Cape Town.

But the difference was that in Cape Town, he had known about the test for two months.

For that test, he had comfortably finished the 2.5km run on time.

He was also able to complete the required 40 push-ups, but was eliminated after nailing only 48 of the 65 sit-ups required.

“My brother was extremely fit. I fail to understand why they were called at such short notice.

“Everybody knows that people overeat and drink during holidays. How can you then expect someone to complete 4km and not make water available?” Mthetho asked.

When Wambi failed to turn up at the finish line – even though he was part of the first group to leave – those who were concerned went to search for him, and later found him in an ambulance on a drip.

“He was taken to a hospital. The doctor later said his heart had stopped and that he had to be resuscitated. But the doctor said his mind had been affected. At 9pm on Friday, I received a call that he had passed on,” Mthethoexplained, adding that their mother (71) had been the worst affected.

“Since his death, she has taken ill,” he said.

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