RTI cop: Assault charge dropped

2013-02-05 00:00

A ROAD Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officer breathed a sigh of relief when a charge of assault against him, alleged to have taken place during the RTI training exercise in which eight people died last year, was withdrawn by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court, yesterday.

Officer Siphiwe Derrick Ndlovu, who was clad in his full traffic uniform, was accused of assaulting Phumlani John Mbhele, a police clerk in Newcastle who was one of the participants vying for a job. It was Ndlovu’s first appearance.

Mbhele was allegedly slapped twice in the face by Ndlovu during the RTI recruitment exercise on December 27 last year at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Eight people died after participants had to run four kilometres within 30 minutes in 33,7° C heat. The tragedy occurred when the officials at the Department of Transport shortlisted 35 000 people to fill 90 traffic officer trainee posts.

The state prosecutor, Kwazi­kwenkosi Zimu, said the case against Ndlovu had been withdrawn due to successful mediation between the complainant and the accused.

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