Hospital tried to stop KZN fitness test

2013-07-11 21:31

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Pietermaritzburg - A hospital CEO tried to stop the second day of a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test that resulted in eight deaths, an inquiry heard on Thursday.

Northdale Hospital head Francis Margaret du Preez told the inquiry in Pietermaritzburg she went to Harry Gwala Stadium to try to stop the event on 28 December because the casualty ward at the hospital was busy.

The hospital admitted 16 patients from the stadium the day before. Two of them died after taking part in the fitness test.

Du Preez said she wanted to make sure the hospital was not going to be overwhelmed.

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.

Ravenda Padayachee SC, for the transport department, said the hospital would not have been overwhelmed by people from the stadium because only three people had been admitted by 14:00.

Du Preez said the casualty ward was busy because it also attended to people from the local clinic. A total of 230 people were attended to at the hospital's casualty ward on 28 December.

At the stadium, Du Preez asked Sindi Zwane, from the department's human resources department, for a meeting. Zwane told her she had no time for a meeting as she was busy.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health

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