Son was sole provider mom tells inquiry

2013-05-23 13:14
(Harry Gwala Stadium, The Witness)

(Harry Gwala Stadium, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A man, who died after participating in a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate recruitment process fitness test, was his family's breadwinner, a commission of inquiry heard in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

Sabathile Mhlanga, the mother of Sibonakaliso, said he was the family's "umbrella".

"As we sit here, we all have children and we know that children are not the same. Sibonakaliso was a powerful child," she said.

"The little that he had, he shared with us, we did not suffer," Sabathile said.

Sibonakaliso travelled from Adams Mission, south of Durban, to Pietermaritzburg with his friend Njabulo Manqele to take part in a 4km run.

Sabathile was testifying at a commission set up by Premier Zweli Mkhize to probe the deaths of eight job applicants during a fitness test in Pietermaritzburg in December.

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.

Supporting the family

Sabathile told the commission her son was employed by Toyota.

Sibonakaliso's pay-slip indicated that he earned a net pay of R9 822.54 a month.

Sabathile said Sibonakaliso was taking care of 15 people, including his own two children.

When he died, his girlfriend was three months pregnant.

Sabathile said all her hopes had died with Sibonakaliso.

He had died a month after his father died.

Sibonakaliso had not consumed alcohol before the fitness test.

She said Sibonakaliso exercised a day before the fitness test and he was a person who exercised regularly.

The inquiry continues.

Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg

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