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Netcare helicopter crashed after trying to assist Jackson Mthembu - Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told eNCA that the doctor had cancelled everything and made himself available to attend to Minister Jackson Mthembu.

FILE: A Netcare911 helicopter. Picture: @Netcare911_sa/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – It has emerged that one of the specialist doctors on board a Netcare helicopter that crashed in KwaZulu-Natal was en route to another emergency after trying to save African National Congress (ANC) member and Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu's life.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told eNCA that the doctor had cancelled everything and made himself available to attend to Mthembu.

"He came together to do everything he could to support Minister Mthembu. Unfortunately, as he was flying out, a fatal accident happened. We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families of those doctors and pilots."

Kgopotso Mononyan was an anaesthetist. Curnick Siyabonga Mahlangu was a cardiothoracic surgeon, Mpho Xaba was a specialist theatre nurse for cardiothoracic and transplant, and were from Netcare Milpark Hospital along with Monoyane.

Sinjin Joshua Farrance, who also passed in the accident, was an advanced life support paramedic at Netcare 911, as well as helicopter pilot Mark Stroxreiter who worked for the National Airways Corporation.

The chopper went down near Bergville on Thursday, killing four healthcare workers and the pilot.

The Netcare Group extended its condolences to the families of those who died in the tragedy.

ALSO READ: ‘He leaves behind a legacy of honesty’ - politicians remember Jackson Mthembu

Minister Mthembu also died on Thursday at the age of 62, after contracting COVID-19.

He was at the forefront of communicating government's messages aimed at combating the virus.

ALSO READ: Obituary: Jackson Mthembu, a deft politician and defender of the Constitution

His passing leaves President Cyril Ramaphosa without a key member of his Cabinet as well as a staunch ally, who devoted his efforts to healing rifts in ANC and restoring public confidence in the party he served from his days as a young activist.

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