‘Our children were brought here to die’

2013-05-02 16:56

What a prospective recruit had to run in 30 minutes on the day, today took those involved in the Road Traffic Inspectorate Commission of Inquiry two hours to walk.

Witness Nonhlanhla Mlambo is one of the prospective traffic-cop recruits who participated in the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test last year.

Eight people are suspected to have died as a result of heat stroke after running 4km in the sweltering heat.

A ninth person is alleged to have drowned in a public pool.

Mlambo broke down repeatedly as she relived the horrors of that day in December during the in loco inspection today.

She retraced her steps, occasionally stopping to point out the important scenes.

Many of the family members of the victims complained about the heat today – it was about 30 degrees Celsius – saying the heat in December must have been worse.

“Can you feel this heat? Our children had no chance. They were brought here to die,” said an elderly woman, wiping sweat with a cloth as she walked the 4km.

“That’s where my child sat, watching his last days pass by,” another woman was heard saying.

The sidewalk on which the would-be recruits ran was littered with stones and they had to also navigate open storm-water drains.

Yesterday, she testified to have run at 7pm when it was already dark. She said that, while there were street lights, visibility had been poor.

Mlambo also pointed to where a sprinkler was, the only one she claims had been made available during her run.

The commission will sit again from May 13 to 15 and from May 21 to 24.

Mlambo was warned against talking to anyone until she had finished testifying.

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