Horror tales from ill-fated recruitment test emerge

2013-05-23 00:00

IF Sibonakaliso Mhlanga had survived the ill-fated traffic recruitment fitness test in Pietermaritzburg last year, he would have celebrated his birthday yesterday.

Mhlanga, who died after participating in the four kilometre mandatory run at the Harry Gwala Stadium on December 27, would have turned 31.

His medical report was cited during cross-examination of a second witness, Njabulo Manqele, by Ravi Padayachee, legal representative for the Department of Transport, during the commission of inquiry into the recruitment exercise.

The report indicates that Mhlanga suffered from “cardiac arrest and post-severe dehydration” after suffering an epileptic attack.

Mhlanga was one of eight people who died while trying to get a job with the Road Traffic Inspectorate.

Padayachee, reading the medical report from Northdale Hospital, said Mhlanga was admitted to the hospital at 23.55 pm.

The autopsy indicated that Mhlanga had abrasions on his head and knees.

“Is this what makes you conclude that Sibonakaliso must have fallen and was trampled by other participants during the race as you stated in your statement?” asked Padayachee.

Manqele agreed. He said the batch of runners that he had joined probably exceeded 500 people and was too crowded.

Padayachee told the commission that this was also contained in a statement submitted by Mhlanga’s mother.

He read her statement, which said that on arrival at the mortuary, she requested to see her son’s body.

Mhlanga’s face had blood on it and his nose showed that he had been bleeding, his left arm was injured and his knee had a deep scratch.

This led her to believe that people had trampled her son during the race, the statement added.

Padayachee introduced Manqele’s CV to indicate that he was prone to making mistakes.

In his CV, Manqele had written that he had passed maths but that was not shown on his matric certificate.

The inquiry continues today.

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