Witness quizzed over fitness test deaths

2013-05-13 17:05

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Durban - A witness's testimony about a woman collapsing during a fitness test, which claimed the lives of eight people, was questioned at the commission of inquiry into the matter on Monday.

It emerged that she had made an affidavit in which she denied seeing anyone collapse.

Nonhlanhla Mlambo was testifying at the commission, headed by Advocate Thandani Norman, appointed by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize earlier this year to probe the deaths.

Eight people died after taking part in a 4km run at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in December in a fitness test, which formed part of recruitments by the Road Traffic Inspectorate.

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.

An unknown number of them collapsed due to the heat.

Many were taken to hospital.

Asked to read an affidavit Mlambo submitted to the commission in Pietermaritzburg in April, she said: "I did not see any of the participants collapse."

Embellishing the truth

Mlambo was being questioned by KwaZulu-Natal transport department legal representative Advocate Ravi Padayachee.

She denied Padayachee's assertion that she was embellishing the truth.

He accused her of "making up stories as you go along", but Mlambo said she had denied seeing anyone collapse on 28 December, when she took part in the fitness test herself.

She told the commission she had also gone to the Harry Gwala Stadium the day before to see how the fitness test was being held.

The inquiry continues.

Read more on:    zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg

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