Stadium deaths: council briefed

2013-01-28 00:00

MSUNDUZI councillors were briefed confidentially on Friday about the botched fitness assessment of traffic recruits at Harry Gwala stadium in December.

The stadium is managed by the municipality.

The incident saw the death of eight recruits who were among 35 000 hopefuls who had to run four kilometres in sweltering heat.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi presented a detailed confidential report to councillors. He said the matter was being treated as confidential because the incident was the subject of a provincial government inquiry.

Earlier, the premier’s spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said the setting up of the formal inquiry was under way and that the provincial government would communicate the details once the KZN Legislature reconvened in the next few weeks after its recess.

Nkosi also briefed councillors about the drowning at Alexandra Park swimming pool on December 30. The victim was one of the recruits who had successfully completed his fitness test at Harry Gwala stadium and was waiting to undergo a driving test.

Democratic Alliance councillor Rodger Ashe noted that there were 1 600 swimmers at the pool on the day.

He asked Nkosi to investigate the guidelines on how many swimmers could be accommodated in an Olympic-size swimming pool and whether having two lifeguards on duty was enough.

Councillors from all parties thanked Nkosi for his detailed report.

Nkosi said the damage caused by the storm in the city on January 6 was far worse than the municipality had initially believed and that 1 450 families had been affected and had to be assisted with emergency relief. This was in addition to trees that were uprooted and electricity disruptions throughout the city.

Councillors spoke about the breakdown in communication following the storm and asked Nkosi to institute a system by which ward councillors could be kept updated.

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