Manguzi family breadwinner latest victim of fatal fitness test

2013-01-02 00:00

THE family of the latest victim of last week’s fatal fitness test had hoped he would get a job that would change their lives for the better.

Instead the test Xolani Gumede had to undergo claimed his life and they lost their breadwinner.

Gumede (29) from Manguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, died at Edendale hospital yesterday

His mother, Gertie Gumede, told The Witness that her son was the family’s provider. He had a temporary job working for a pension payout provider.

“He was taking care of me, his sister and four children including his own, his late brother’s and sister’s. Who will do the things that he was doing now?” she asked.

Gumede’s sister, Angela, said: “He was like a father to me as he provided and protected us here at home.

“He supported us financially and loved his family. He wanted a better life for us so he went for the test in Pietermaritzburg to get the job that we expected to change our lives.”

A friend, Sandile Mhlongo, said they were together when Gumede received an SMS to attend the fitness test.

“We were relaxing in a friend’s car while he was charging his phone. The SMS from the department made our day. We were all happy that he was called for the interview.

“We had planned to go to Mozambique but my passport was in Durban, so on his way back he was going to go past my flat and fetch it so we could go. He left with the hope of getting the job. He was going to stay over in my brother’s house in Pietermaritzburg.”

Another friend, Sbongiseni Mhlongo, said Gumede was in high spirits and excited. He had not realised that so many people had been called for the same post.

“He ran at about 11 am on the first day and he was hospitalised on the same day. On the day before he was excited about everything.

“He drove my car from Manguzi bringing another three applicants who were also coming for the same training on that day,” Mhlongo said.

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