RTI applicants exposed to heat - doctor

2013-07-31 17:27
Harry Gwala Stadium (Picture: The Witness)

Harry Gwala Stadium (Picture: The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Eight people who collapsed after participating in a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test were exposed to extreme heat, a commission of inquiry heard in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

All eight participants were diagnosed with heat exhaustion, Dr Douglas Wilson said.

"Heat exhaustion is a problem with internal organs that arises when a person has been exposed to extreme heat," he said.

Wilson was testifying before a commission appointed by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize to probe the deaths of eight people, who took part in a 4km run at the Harry Gwala Stadium, in Pietermaritzburg, in December.

It formed part of a fitness test for Road Traffic Inspectorate job applicants.

More than 34 000 people qualified to apply for 90 advertised RTI trainee posts. Of these, 15 600 applicants attended a fitness test on 27 December and a similar number on 28 December.

Wilson was giving evidence on the participants admitted to his hospital after the fitness test.

Those diagnosed with heat exhaustion were Cynthia Sindisiwe Gumede, Purity Mkhithi, Khanyisile Gumede, Mandisa Mlungwana, Nonhlanhla Mlambo, Andile Mchunu, Hlengiwe Mazibuko, and Eyethu Sokhela.

Wilson said heat exhaustion happened when a person had been exercising.

When a person was exposed to heat for a long time, the body's mechanisms for cooling down were overcome and it became hot, which caused harm to several parts of the body.

Wilson said symptoms of heat stroke were presented by participants Thandeka Nontobeko Dlomo and Nobuhle Pretty Hadebe.

- SAPA
Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg
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