Dhlomo's use of helicopter valid - Madonsela

2015-03-31 05:00
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has dismissed charges against KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who was accused of commandeering an air ambulance to attend a funeral.

Madonsela found Dhlomo did not violate the Executive Ethics Code.

In a report titled "Ambulance Ethics", Madonsela investigated allegations that Dhlomo commandeered an air ambulance to attend a funeral in Hlabisa, about 370km from Durban.

This was alleged to have caused the death of a child injured in a car accident, according to the complaint by DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu.

He alleged that Dhlomo did not lodge a flight plan with the relevant authorities. He used the helicopter to attend to his "private interests", which may have included campaigning for the Hlabisa municipal by-elections, held in December 2012.

Madonsela said Dhlomo did not dispute using the helicopter to attend the funeral. She established that Dhlomo's main reason for visiting Hlabisa was to address residents at the funeral about an incident which had taken place at the Hlabisa hospital.

This would have been impossible to achieve in a day, considering the vastness of the area and its bad roads.

Madonsela found Dhlomo did not violate the Executive Ethics Code.

Madonsela said provincial authorities had responded "expeditiously using ground vehicles" to accident involving the child.

"There is no evidence that indicates that the emergency medical helicopter used by the MEC on the day in question was required for that emergency, or any other," Madonsela said.

Mbalula cleared on impropriety charges

Earlier Madonsela found that there was no impropriety regarding the many trips undertaken by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and his deputy.

"While minister Mbalula and Deputy Minister [Gert Oosthuizen] spent an amount close to the alleged R2.7m, I found no evidence indicating that any of the flights were undertaken improperly and outside the mandate of the department," Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria.

"The allegation that minister Mbalula and deputy minister Oosthuizen improperly caused the department to incur excessive transport costs for international and domestic flights was not substantiated by evidence."

Madonsela investigated claims, made in 2012, that Mbalula caused the sport department to spend R747 410 for 16 international flights, excluding 224 domestic flights, for himself since April 2010.

Oosthuizen allegedly spent about R1.1m for 105 flights from 1 April 2010.

The complaints were lodged by DA sport spokesperson Winston Rabotapi.

In her report titled "The Cost of Travel", Madonsela said she had found no specific yardstick for measuring whether international and domestic flights could be categorised as excessive, as government officials were mandated to "exercise discretionary powers".

Madonsela said due to a lack of adverse findings against the pair, she would not initiate remedial action.

"I hope that Minister Mbalula and Deputy Minister Oosthuizen, in exercising their discretionary powers to decide which trips to attend and how much resources to invest in each trip, they also take into account the austerity measures by the minister of finance," she said.

"I am pleased that none of the parties involved challenged my jurisdiction or powers and they have all accepted my findings without any reservations."

Read more on:    sibongiseni dhlomo  |  fikile mbalula  |  thuli madonsela  |  pretoria  |  government spending  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
80 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.