15 January 2013
The IFP is perplexed by the continued silence
of the authorities, including the KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mhkize,
on the seven tragic deaths due to the botched staff recruitment
drive in the Department of Transport over Christmas, that
happened on the provincial government’s watch and that has been
swept under the carpet with an internal inquiry.
“The extent of the tragedy which has claimed
seven human lives and countless injuries warrants nothing less
than a judicial commission of inquiry to identify those
responsible for it and to ensure that the circumstances that led
to it will not reoccur,” said Leader of the Official Opposition
in KZN Blessed Gwala MPL.
The IFP has been shocked by the callous
attitude of the provincial Department of Transport which
shortlisted some 35 000 applicants for 90 traffic officer posts
with the KZN Road Traffic Inspectorate, some of them without a
driver’s license, for an endurance test which was conducted in
sweltering heat in an overcrowded stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
“The MEC for Transport has brazenly failed to
take responsibility for the incident despite the fact that he is
the executive authority in the department and no official under
his command has been taken to task for devising or organising
such a bizarre recruitment process,” said Gwala.
The IFP feels that only an independent
commission of inquiry chaired by a retired judge can do justice
to the investigation of the circumstances of this tragedy,
identify the lines of responsibility for it, and recommend
measures that must be put in place to prevent such incidents
from reoccurring in the department in future.
“It now falls to the Premier to approach the
KZN Judge President to recommend a suitable individual to chair
a judicial commission of inquiry into this incident and ensure
an independent investigation that will assign personal
responsibility for the tragedy and offer closure to the families
of the seven victims,” said Gwala.
Contact: Blessed Gwala, 078 290 5842