Fitness 'a requirement' for traffic cops

2013-05-22 15:14
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - An advert for trainee positions at the KwaZulu-Natal transport department specified that a stringent physical assessment was required, a commission of inquiry heard in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

Applicant Njabulo Manqele had been quick to criticise the KZN government for giving only two days' notice of the fitness test, Ravenda Padayachee SC, for the transport department, said during cross-examination.

However, the advertisement stated that applicants had to be physically fit, he said.

The commission was established by Premier Zweli Mkhize to probe the deaths of eight job applicants during a fitness test in Pietermaritzburg in December.

The job requirements were a senior certificate, a valid code B driving licence, and physical fitness.

Fitness

"Please note that successful candidates will be subjected to full medical examination to determine fitness before confirmation of appointment," the advertisement read.

Applicants also had to have no criminal record and not be older than 35.

Padayachee said if Manqele had read the advert, he would not be criticising the government.

The fitness test formed part of a process to select Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) job applicants.

More than 34 000 people qualified to apply for 90 advertised trainee posts.

A total of 15 600 applicants attended a fitness test at Harry Gwala Stadium, in Pietermaritzburg, on 27 December, and a similar number on 28 December.

This week, Manqele told the commission he had travelled from Adams Mission, south of Durban, to Pietermaritzburg with his friend Sibonakaliso Mhlanga to participate in a 4km run.

Mhlanga was one of the applicants who died after participating in the fitness test.

Manqele and Mhlanga were in a group which ran at 19:30 on 27 December.

Manqele said his group was referred to as a "tsumani", because it had more than 500 people. He could not remember whether it consisted of men and women.

On Monday he testified that groups were split into manageable numbers and that men and women were separated.

The commission continues.

Read more on:    rti  |  pietermaritzburg

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