- Four healthcare workers and a pilot were killed en route to pick up a critically ill patient in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
- Gauteng Netcare employees gathered on the helipad at Milpark Hospital to pay tribute to their five colleagues on Friday.
- The cause of the accident is unknown.
Several members of the medical health fraternity in Johannesburg gathered to mourn the death of four Netcare health workers and a pilot who died in a helicopter crash in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
"They were young. They were talented, they were committed and in the process a catastrophic accident occurred and they gave up their lives," Netcare Group CEO Richard Friedland said during the vigil on Friday afternoon.
Dr Kgopotso Rudolph Mononyane, Dr Curnick Siyabonga Mahlangu, nurse Mpho Xaba, paramedic Sinjin Joshua Farrance and pilot Mark Stoxreiter died when the helicopter crashed and burned in Bergville in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. They were on their way to Hillcrest, outside Durban, to transport a critically ill patient to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
Before boarding the helicopter, Mononyane had assisted in efforts to save the life of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who died of Covid-19 complications also on Thursday.
"There can be no greater calling than to die in the service of mankind on a journey to save other lives. And so we are here today to mourn their loss. To honour them and to respect what they stood for," Friedland said.
He said it has been a difficult year for the medical health fraternity because several frontline workers had lost their lives to the coronavirus.
"The suffering has been enormous."
The cause of the accident is unknown at this stage as investigations continue.
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