Dying for a job: Nthuthuko Sibisi (28)

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.

Sibisi’s family doesn’t know how he would have handled another failed job application had he been rejected for the Road Traffic Inspectorate job.

Sibisi, from Hammarsdale near Pietermaritzburg, had been looking for work since matriculating more than a decade ago.

That is why he didn’t think twice about cutting short his holidays with his father’s family in Ladysmith when he received an SMS from the provincial department of transport.

“He must have sent tons of applications each month. That’s how desperate he was,” said his grandmother, Thandi Sibisi.

“He has worked as a cleaner for Rainbow (Chicken). He worked in the stadium here whenever there were football games. He basically took anything he could get.”

Sibisi lost his mother in 1999 and lived with his grandmother and his 19- and 17-year-old cousins.

“We have lost big. He used to tell me that once he gets a job, we would get a new house. Everything you see in this house, he did it,” Thandi said.

“He bought groceries, the clothes on our backs and even the furniture you see here, that was all him. He bought the blocks (bricks) you see outside with money from his piece jobs. He wanted to extend our home. Now everything stops.”

His biggest dream was to put his cousins through tertiary education so that they could have a better future. “He didn’t want them to make the same mistakes he made.”

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