Aspirant traffic cops wait to run 4km in 30 minutes to pass the fitness test which will qualify them to go into the next round for one of 90 provincial posts. File photo; Supplied

Pietermaritzburg - A man who took part in a KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) fitness test died in an ambulance, an inquiry heard on Monday.

“When I turned on the electrocardiogram (ECG), it indicated that the patient (Lenny Nxumalo) had passed on,” said Vusimuzi Patrick Xaba, who works for the Emergency Medical Rescue Service as an intermediate life support said.

He was testifying in Pietermaritzburg before a commission of inquiry into the death of eight people after an RTI fitness test in the city in December last year.

The victims took part in a four-kilometre run at Harry Gwala Stadium. The event formed part of a fitness test for RTI job applicants.

More than 34 000 people qualified to apply for 90 advertised RTI trainee posts. Of these, 15 600 attended a fitness test on December 27, and a similar number on December 28.

Xaba said he did cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Nxumalo but this was unsucessful. He then handed him over to his colleague, Lindokuhle Molefe.

Nxumalo was in a critical condition in an ambulance stationed at a medical tent outside the stadium.

“When I opened the door at the back, the patient had defecated himself,” he said.

Xaba told the inquiry he checked Nxumalo's vital signs and discovered immediate CPR was required.

He asked two of his collegues to conduct CPR while he prepared a drip, but he discovered that Nxumalo's veins had collapsed.

Xaba said he used an ECG to find Nxumalo's pulse and it showed that he had died.

“I told Molefe and crew that the patient 1/8Nxumalo 3/8 had passed on,” he said.

Xaba was criticised by the lawyer of the department of transport , Ravenda Padayachee, for not filling in a hand over report as stated by the EMRS manual.

There were no records of the treatment done by Xaba on Nxumalo.

“You may criticise me but as far as I am concerned I did my job well. It had passed my time to knock off work, but i went to fetch another patient far away and continued working,” Xaba said.

Earlier Molefe testified that he did not know if any treatment was done on Nxumalo because when he was handed to him he was not given his medical history.

Padayachee accused Xaba of not doing a diligent job because Molefe said he put on the ECG on Nxumalo to determine if he was still alive.

“Someone taking over a patient may use his own machine to confirm the correctness of the results,” Xaba said.

He said he did tell Molefe of the treatment he had conducted on Nxumalo before handing him over.

The inquiry continues.