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Premier to probe MEC’s helicopter trip

Durban - Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, is expected to finally break his silence on his using Durban’s sole state-contracted medical rescue helicopter when it was needed for a critically injured accident victim.

Through his spokesman, Dhlomo had denied the version given by paramedics, that they had been forced to drive the teen from the accident near Shongweni to hospital because the rescue helicopter was being used by Dhlomo. It emerged on Sunday that Premier Zweli Mkhize is investigating the matter.

It's believed KZN health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, used the helicopter needed to save a teen crash victim, to attend a funeral. File photo: Doctor Ngcobo. Credit: Independent Newspapers

At a recent press conference, Dr Sibongile Zungu, head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, had said that Dhlomo had urgently flown to Hlabisa, in northern KZN, to quell community unrest over an alleged scandal involving a doctor and girls from the district. At the time, Zungu refused to divulge details.

However, the Sunday Tribune reported on Sunday that the MEC had in fact flown to the funeral of the husband of Hlabisa Provincial Hospital manager, Dawn Zungu, who died in a car accident near his home.

The Sunday Tribune reported that several witnesses had seen Dhlomo arriving in the chopper at a community hall in Hlabisa where the funeral was being held.

Mkhize’s spokesman, Ndabe Sibiya, said once Mkhize had exhausted all the internal processes on the issue that led to the death of 15-year-old Asheen Singh, the premier would make a pronouncement on what action would be taken.

However, the DA has called on Mkhize to fire Dhlomo immediately.

“There must be no excuses or delays,” the party’s provincial leader, Sizwe Mchunu, said on Sunday. - Daily News

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