Durban - The doctor at the centre of the contentious medical certificate that led Pietermaritzburg High Court judge Dhaya Pillay to earlier this week issue a warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma also medically assisted the country’s incumbent deputy president, David Mabuza, when he fell ill 2015.
Mabuza was flown to Russia on the Gupta family’s plane after falling from an alleged poisoning after he had eaten something at his birthday party. When grilled on the trip in the National Assembly, Mabuza had said that there was nothing untoward about his Russian trip although he could not recall details around being on the Gupta’s Bombardier Global 6000 plane.
Independent Media managed to track down Nicholas Van Der Merwe, the pilot who had flown the aircraft to Russia and worked as the Gupta family’s pilot since 2013, who confirmed that Mabuza was assisted by the doctor
Sources close to Zuma say he gave the the instruction for Mabuza to be taken care of by the doctor.
The trip formed part of former Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane’s complaint to the public protector. Maimane wanted answers on why Mabuza had flown on the Gupta’s private jet to Russia.
This was during the pre-Nasrec period when Mabuza, at the time the Premier of Mpumalanga, was a strong Zuma ally and formed an integral part of the so-called “premier league”.
This lobby group, led by the then premiers of three critical provinces, also consisted of current ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule, who is the former Free State Premier and Supra Mahumapelo, current ANC Member of Parliament and former North West Premier.
According to pilot Van De Merwe, Mabuza was on the plane heading to Russian climes, assisted by the doctor who has served as Zuma’s personal doctor for 10 years.
The doctor, a qualified medical practitioner, has been employed by the Department of Defence and is part of the military medical component and was deployed to the presidency during former president Zuma’s nine year long tenure as head of state.
According to sources close to Zuma, the doctor often accompanied the president on trips to seek medical attention abroad, such as when Zuma headed to Russia for medical treatment following his own alleged poisoning.