Dying for a job: Sanele Ngcobo (22)

2013-02-03 09:59

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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.

In April, Ngcobo’s mother would have watched her son in a graduation robe, taking to the stage with other University of Zululand graduates.

Instead, Thembi Ngcobo (62) from Sobantu in Pietermaritzburg buried her only remaining child.

“It was just the two of us left. He had four brothers. Now they are all dead,” she cried.

She now keeps his photograph in her wardrobe so she doesn’t have to see it.

“I’m angry because my son died due to gross negligence. How could there have been no water when they expected these kids to run in the boiling heat? How could there have been no paramedics? I will never forgive them. They robbed my son of his future,” she said.

A single mother, Thembi struggled to put her children through school. Before Ngcobo’s death, she had just paid the remaining R5?000 of his university bill.

“I did it gladly because he was such a respectful child. We were extremely close. He had big dreams for us. He used to tell me: ‘Mom, as soon as I get a job, we are moving.’ He wanted to buy me a house in a safe neighbourhood since I’m alone during the day,” she said.

It was his passion to be a traffic officer that pushed him to run.

“As long as I can remember, he wanted to be a traffic cop. So much so that he wanted to do it straight after matric. But his older brother would not allow him.

“He told him there would be no traffic cop in this family. He forced him to go to university,” Thembi said.

Ngcobo had just returned from university for holidays when he saw an advert in a newspaper and “worked like a madman” to submit the forms.

“I gave him my blessing because I could see that’s where his heart was. I didn’t know it would cost me my son.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.