Lawyer: Fitness test wasn't cruel

2013-06-04 22:37
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test in which eight people died was not cruel, an inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Ravenda Padayachee SC, for the provincial transport department, said the RTI exercise did not expose individuals to push-ups and shuttle runs.

"The distance was increased so there could be no need for push-ups and sit-ups," he said.

Padayachee said the fitness tests for the Durban metro police and Cape Town metro police required applicants to run, and to do some push-ups and shuttle runs.

The commission was appointed by KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize earlier this year to probe the deaths of eight people who took part in a four kilometre run at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in December.

This formed part of a fitness test for Road Traffic Inspectorate 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 on December 27 and a similar number on December 28.

Mpumelelo Kunene testified that her brother, Lindokuhle had complained about the heat when she spoke to him at noon on December 27.

She told him to persevere so he could get employed.

Lindokuhle died at Northdale Hospital after 10pm.

Earlier, the commission heard that a post mortem had found that Lindokuhle had a liver which was fatty, hard and congested.

Padayachee said a doctor would testify that these were signs of alcohol abuse.

Evidence leader Sithembiso Kunene asked Mpumelelo if drinking alcohol was a requirement for an applicant.

She said it was not.

"Your brother went for a fitness test after he was invited by the department of transport.

He had some difficulty and passed away, Sithembiso said.

Mpumelelo said her brother had worked as a taxi driver and had never been arrested for drinking and driving. He had also never been dismissed from work for arriving drunk.

Padayachee told the commission Kunene weighed more than 100kg.

Mpumelelo said her brother had been fat, but fit.

She broke down and cried during cross-examination.

The commission continues on Wednesday.

Read more on:    rti  |  pietermaritzburg

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