MEC needed chopper for funeral

2012-11-25 14:28


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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo apparently commandeered an air ambulance to attend a funeral, the Sunday Tribune newspaper reported.

According to the report, he used the helicopter to attend the funeral of Zacharia "Cliff" Zungu, the businessman husband of the Hlabisa Provincial Hospital manager Dawn Zungu.

Dhlomo had been criticised for using the province's sole medical helicopter three weeks ago because it delayed an injured teenager's arrival at a Durban hospital.

Asheen Maharaj, 15, was left brain dead following a car crash near Pinetown. His parents, Ashnee and Ashwin, and sister Asheena, were killed.

The newspaper reported earlier this month that paramedics treating Maharaj had wanted the helicopter to airlift him to Durban's Albert Luthuli hospital, but were told it was not available because Dhlomo was using it.

Maharaj died after arriving at the hospital by road.

The KZN health department earlier this month said Dhlomo had gone to Hlabisa because the community was angry at a doctor at the Hlabisa Provincial Hospital and that doctor's life was threatened by community members.

The newspaper on Sunday quoted a number of people, including the pastor, who attended Zungu's funeral as saying that Dhlomo arrived by helicopter.

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