Recruit deaths: No venue yet for inquiry

2013-03-25 00:00

THE commission of inquiry to investigate the deaths of eight applicants for jobs with the Road Traffic Inspectorate late last year is struggling to find a suitable venue.

A source close to the matter told The Witness that none of the venues proposed so far were suitable.

“These people need a central point to keep all the documents. They need at least five offices for the commissioners.”

Commission spokesperson Dumisani Xaba told The Witness that the Transport Department had offered the commission an auditorium in its building.

“The offer was turned down because we didn’t think it was spacious enough to accommodate the huge number of people anticipated to attend the sessions.

“Given the fact that the investigation centres around the department, we also felt that accepting the venue would be inappropriate.

“We hope that by mid-April everything will be in order,” said Xaba.

He said that although the venue issue has not been resolved, the investigators had already started work. As to how much funding had been set aside for the commission, Xaba referred The Witness to Premier Zweli Mkhize’s office.

The Witness reported in December 2012 that the Transport Department shortlisted 35 000 traffic recruits for only 90 vacancies.

During the fitness test, eight recruits died in the stressful conditions and it has since been speculated that procedure was not followed in the recruitment drive. Hundreds of other applicants were treated for dehydration during the four kilometre run in sweltering heat.

Asked when the inquiry would be in full swing, Mkhize’s spokesperson, Ndabe Sibiya, said: “In his state of the province address the Premier was very clear that details of the commission and when it will sit will be made available once all the processes involved are finalised.”

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