30 December 2012

South Africa: MEC and HoD Must Step Down Over Traffic Jobs Tragedy

press release

The IFP has called on KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport Mr Willies Mchunu and his Head of Department to step down following the death of about 7 people and many who were hospitalised after they were put through a 4km run in sweltering heat on Thursday and Friday in Pietermaritzburg.

In addition the party says the Premier must urgently institute a Commission of Enquiry so that all who are responsible for the tragedy are made to account.

IFP Leader of the Opposition, Mr Blessed Gwala said:

"What happened in Pietermaritzburg was a classic display of being power-drunk, to an extent treating ordinary suffering people as subhuman. No one in their right mind could in the first place short-list about 35 000 people for just 90 jobs. Worse, the applicants were made to run 4km in the sweltering heat of Pietermaritzburg! And from the look of things, they were not informed well in advance to prepare themselves for such a gruelling run because they would have brought themselves water etc.

"We call on the Premier to urgently institute a Commission of Enquiry into this tragedy so that all who are responsible must be made to account. In the meantime, the Provincial MEC for Transport, Mr Willies Mchunu and his Head of Department must do the honourable by stepping aside until such time as the Commission will have completed its work. To show sympathy to those who lost their loved ones, the MEC must find it in his heart to gracefully step aside. If not, the Premier must be man to take his responsibility this time, and not to buckle like he did when leadership called on him to do the right by suspending MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo over the helicopter saga."

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