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'MEC takes helicopter while sick teen suffers'

By Sapa | Nov 15, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 30 ]

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s department has defended his use of an emergency helicopter.

Department head Sibongile Zungu told reporters in Pietermaritzburg that Dhlomo had been required to attend to a dispute between a doctor and residents at Manguzi, in Umkhanyakude, in the far north of the province.

“The incident involved a doctor and some young girls who were in the doctor’s room and the community was up in arms,” she said.

“It is with a heavy heart that we find ourselves in a position where we have to hold such a briefing, but the family must bear with us. In the past days there has been a huge media interest on the matter.” 

Dhlomo reportedly commandeered the helicopter last week, delaying an injured teenager’s arrival at a Durban hospital.

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

Zungu said the nature of Maharaj’s injuries meant that his chances of survival were slim, and that if he had survived, his life would not have been normal.

She dismissed suggestions that the helicopter had not been made available.

One of the two Emergency Medical Rescue Services helicopters was called off 17 minutes before arriving on the scene, after communication between the paramedics and the helicopter crew, said Zungu.

Dhlomo was not at the briefing as he was attending a cabinet meeting, which takes place every Wednesday.  

Zungu said the department had not had contact with Maharaj’s family.

“The department has not been in contact with the family and is not in the habit of doing so.”

COMMENTS [ 30 ]

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aaaag editor your story is makaka, this S**t is the same as taking a patience by ambulane.its the other means of transport

Nov 15, 2012 11:4 | 0 replies

This MEC must be disciplined - the ghelicopter is an ambulance - not for his transport no matter what the urgency - jir do people not get this ??

Nov 15, 2012 12:41 | 0 replies

The family of this child now handicapped for life thanks to this fatuous and arrogant ANC server, should demand an inquest and subsequent legal proceedings against this character: He claimed that as a doctor he is entitled to use it as he sees fit. His arrogant public servilitude must state what his degree or equivalent is, to evaluate emergencies that require air transportation. He must state what other more urgent priority case the helicopter was used at that time and who were the "doctors" involved.
The family of the victim should ask the HPCSA (the lame Cerberus at the gates of the inefficient and useless Department Of Health) to investigate and sanction this "Doctor" for negligence.....
The Medical Association should issue a public statement condemning the inhumane and stupid action of this sad member muddling with his ignorant arrogance the good name and respectability of the fewer and fewer doctors remaining in the country......
Finally. The Minstrel of Health if he has any capacity for blushing, should demand a prompt and quick investigation and the firing of the responsible.........

Nov 15, 2012 1:8 | 0 replies

dont understand dis story..

Nov 15, 2012 1:23 | 0 replies

NeoBaBe: What's to understand? It is pretty straightforward. The MEC took a joyride in the emergency helicopter, thereby delaying transportation of a critically ill child, causing his brain-death. A simple tale of gross misconduct and voluntary manslaughter.

Nov 15, 2012 1:28 | 0 replies

madimetsha
do they think had they used a helicopter , the boy woudl not have been brain dead? does this have anything to do with the fact that he is ind1an? how many bl@cks die due to lack of ambulances and Sowetan never reports it? and now 1 smallanyana ind1an died, they make a brouhaha, the Helicopter was not available, get over it...
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Just how sick are you?

A young lad was injured very badly. What has his race got to do with things?

If there is a lack of emergency vehicles, it is precisely for reasons like this - MECs using them for inappropriate reasons!!! Your ANC govt is sh!t - you need to get over it.

Sies on you. Sies!!!

Nov 15, 2012 1:45 | 0 replies

Which part of MEDICAL HELICOPTER does this one uselss ^%$#@ MEC not F@#$% understand!

Nov 15, 2012 1:46 | 0 replies

This is yet another example of the ANC's blatant abuse of power.

The other day in Mpumalanga I was driving along merrily, abiding by the speed limit on a single laned road with a fairly wide shoulder when along came an ANC "blue light vehice" from behind. The lights were not flashing and it was not a cop or police vehice. I was travelling behind another slow moving car and because the road is not straight there was no safe place to overtake. The ANC vehicle came so close to me that its entire bonnet disappeared out of view in my rear view mirror and all I could see was the driver yelling abuse at me. I indicated with my hand for the ANC vehicle to back off but just got shown zap signs by the driver and his occupant who was a young woman. As this was all happening the shoulder narrowed and the car in front of me indicated their intention to turn right and they slowed down as well. So there I was, sandwiched between the aggressive ANC vehilce and the car in front of me that was also abiding by the law. The ANC vehicle was so close to me that I'm sure he couldn't see the flicker of the car in front of me and so he swerved out onto the now very narrow shoulder and sped past on the left of me, his left wheels hit the dirt and caused stones, dust and debris to be thrown up. Needless to say I only narrowly missed the car in front of me and am lucky to be alive. In the heat of the moment I could not get a look at the number plate but if this ever happens again I will hopefully be more prepared to take a photo or have sight of the number plate.

Since I live only a few km away from our esteemed (sic) Premier's farm I have no doubt that the ANC vehicle was heading there.

Such is the nature of the ANC and its leaders so I was not surprised to read this story. As far as ANC bigwigs are concerned the general public are just dirt. The ANC are not people to admire they are people to hate. I have no doubt that their demise is imminent - especially if they vote Zuma in again - becaue the people have had enough of their arrogance and incompetence. Like Bishop Tutu, I pray each day for their demise.

Nov 15, 2012 1:52 | 0 replies

TheNewFreedomFighter - Should have just slammed on breaks. If he rears your car, he is liable. For not keeping his following distance.

Nov 15, 2012 1:59 | 0 replies

TheNewFreedomFighter - But ja, just some ANC cadre with 'groot piel' syndrome, trying to impress his squeeze.

Nov 15, 2012 2:0 | 0 replies

An entire family dead because a flippin fatcat brat of an MEC is joling in the air ambulance. Why am I not as surprised at this as I should be?

Nov 15, 2012 2:6 | 0 replies