Claims of brutality at KZN fitness test

2013-07-02 22:00
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - Police allegedly beat people who failed to obey instructions at a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test, a commission of inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Minenhle Mazwi Mbandlwa said police dragged a man out of an area designated for successful applicants and that others were beaten.

Mbandlwa was testifying in Pietermaritzburg in connection with the death of Sanele Ngcobo, a job applicant who was found with a 13cm cut across on his neck after the fitness test.

He said the police warned the group to obey their instructions or risk being taken out of the stadium like another man from a different group.

Mbandlwa said successful applicants were crammed into a small area where they were told to sit down. They were made to wait for officers to pat their heads before being allowed to go and register their names, he said.

Anyone who got up before a police officer touched their head was grabbed, beaten or chased out.

It was not clear whether police or traffic officers guarded the applicants.

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 4km run at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in December.

It formed part of a fitness test for RTI job applicants.


More than 34 000 people qualified to apply for the 90 advertised trainee posts.

A total of 15 600 applicants attended a fitness test on 27 December and a similar number on 28 December.

Mbandlwa, who was also Ngcobo's cousin, said some people were taken out of the area for successful applicants without registering their names.

Mbandlwa left the stadium after registered his name, and went to a car to wait for Ngcobo and another man, Nkosinathi Nzimande.

He later found Nzimande, but not Ngcobo.

An announcement was later made about a man who had been injured and taken to hospital, so he and his grandmother went to Grey's Hospital to look for Ngcobo.

A doctor told him Ngcobo had bled severely and could not be saved.

Mbandlwa said he asked the doctor if was possible for Ngcobo to commit suicide in this way, because nurses at the hospital said he had killed himself.

He said the doctor told him it was impossible for Ngcobo to cut his neck.

The commission continues on Wednesday.

Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
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.