Victim’s lifestyle questioned

2013-06-05 00:00

A COMMISSION of inquiry heard that job applicant Lindokuhle Kunene, who died during a traffic recruitment fitness test on December 27, drank heavily and was overweight.

During yesterday’s session of the commissiong, senior counsel Ravi Padayachee, for the Transport Department, crossed-examined Kunene’s sister Mpumelelo on her brother’s lifestyle habits.

Padayachee asked Mpumelelo, a police officer, if her brother was a regular drinker. She said her brother, who was a taxi driver, drank alcohol occasionally.

However, Padayachee said the autopsy done on Kunene suggested that he abused alcohol.

“The postmortem done on your brother’s body shows that his liver was covered with fats and it was hard to cut. A doctor who will be called to testify will tell the commission that these are the symptoms of a person who abused alcohol,” said Padayachee.

He said Kunene was fat and that the autopsy results revealed that his weight was about 100 kg.

He said he would be calling on Kunene’s drinking buddies who would testify that on Fridays and Saturdays they indulged in alcohol together.

However, Mpumelelo said her brother may have been fat, but he was also fit.

Padayachee asked her if her brother had been drinking two days before he was called for the fitness test. “I ask you this because his child’s mother told us that Lindokuhle had been to a two-day party organised by one of his drinking buddies.”

Mpumelelo responded that she would not know whether her brother had been drinking during the days in question, but that on the morning of December 26, he was sober. She said her brother “took a nap” during the day, preparing to drive from Newcastle down to Pietermaritzburg in the evening.

“Did he take a nap to overcome the effects of alcohol intake?” asked Padayachee.

Kunene said she did not know because as far as she was concerned her brother was not drunk when she saw him.

Meanwhile, evidence leader Sithembiso Kunene asked Mpumelelo if it was part of the requirements that participants should not drink alcohol, to which she said it was not.

The commission, headed by senior counsel Thandi Norman to investigate the deaths of eight traffic recruits in December, continues today.

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