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IFP seeks independent inquiry

Durban - An independent inquiry should be conducted into the deaths of eight people during a fitness test for traffic officer positions, the IFP said on Tuesday.

“Only an independent commission of inquiry chaired by a retired judge can do justice to the investigation of the circumstances of this tragedy,” MPL Blessed Gwala said on Tuesday.

He said the matter had been swept under the carpet with an internal inquiry.

More than 34,000 people applied for 90 advertised trainee posts. About 15,600 of them went through the fitness test in December.

Eight people died and an unknown number collapsed because of the heat and had to be taken to hospital.

Gwala criticised transport MEC Willies Mchunu for failing to take responsibility, and for not taking disciplinary steps against those who were responsible for the recruiting process.

“It now falls to the premier to approach the KwaZulu-Natal judge president to recommend a suitable individual to chair a judicial commission of inquiry into the incident, and ensure an independent investigation that will assign personal responsibility for the tragedy and offer closure to the families of the eight victims.”

Premier spokesman Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the premier had set up a formal inquiry to investigate the matter.

The premier called on all political parties and leaders to work together with the formal inquiry, Sibiya said.

He said people from outside who wanted to contribute were welcome to make input to strengthen the inquiry and ensure that it was independent. - Sapa

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