Fitness test deaths: ‘still too painful for forgiveness’

2013-01-09 19:19

A memorial service held in honour of eight people who died during a Road Traffic Inspectorate fitness test in KwaZulu-Natal at the end of December has done little to comfort their grieving families, with some saying forgiveness is not on the cards.

KZN MEC of Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu held the memorial service at Pietermaritzburg’s city hall today to offer condolences to the families of the seven people who died in the city during a 4km run which was part of a fitness test. An eighth applicant reportedly committed suicide.

The deceased were among more than 34 000 candidates who responded to a recruitment drive.

A total of 15 600 applicants were called in to participate in the programme on December 27.

However, only 90 trainee posts were available.

Thembinkosi Nxumalo (28), who lost his son, Lenny Nxumalo, walked out of today’s event because of the late start. The 11am event started close to noon. “I don’t even know why I bothered to come. By wasting my time, they are still showing gross disrespect to me and my family,” Nxumalo told City Press.

“There is no forgiveness,” he said plainly.

Lucia Sibisi, the aunt of Ntuthuko Sibisi (28), said her family did not attend: “Maybe we can forgive later, but right now it is still too painful.”

She said the family was most disappointed by the manner in which the department of transport had handled the matter. “No one has ever said anything to us as a family. We found out about his death through the hospital.

“Someone at the hospital found one of our numbers in his CV. But they could not tell us anything more since he apparently came already unable to talk,” she added.

Ntuthuko had been seeking work for years. He had been to numerous interviews and would have taken anything, Sibisi said.

Mchunu said such a big number of applicants were called because the department wanted the process to be fair so that no one could later make bribery allegations.

“As the department, we subject ourselves before the premier, government and the legislature, and we will accept any sanction deemed appropriate,” he said, according to Sapa.

Opposition parties and organised labour have called for a commission of inquiry to be established.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said many religious leaders have written to him, asking to be part of the commission.

He assured the families that no one close to the incident would be involved in the investigations.

He said the law would take its course should anyone be found to have been at fault.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.