Dept disputes applicant's cause of death

2013-06-26 20:27
Harry Gwala Stadium (Picture: The Witness)

Harry Gwala Stadium (Picture: The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A man who participated in a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) recruitment fitness test died of a heart attack, a commission of inquiry in Pietermaritzburg heard on Wednesday.

Advocate Ravenda Padayachee, for the transport department, disputed that Lungile Wambi's death was caused by hyperthermia, as stated on his death certificate.

"The diagnosis of hyperthermia was speculative," Padayachee said.

He said Wambi twice went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated.

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.

This 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.

Padayachee further disputed Grey's Hospital's diagnosis that Wambi had heat stroke.

He told the commission that to be diagnosed with heat stroke, a person had to have a temperature of over 40°C.

For a diagnosis of hyperthermia the temperature had to be between 38°C and 40°C.

Padayachee said Wambi's blood sugar levels were low.

They had dropped from 2.5 millimoles a litre to 2.1 millimoles a litre, which had resulted in him suffering two heart attacks.

He said when paramedics treated Wambi they did not treat him for his low blood sugar.

Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg

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