The anaesthetist, who assisted the emergency team with Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu’s resuscitation, Dr. Rudolph Mononyane, was killed in a rescue helicopter crash on Thursday.

Dr. Mononyane, along with his colleagues Dr. Siyabonga Mahlangu, Nurse Mpho Xaba, ALS Paramedic Sinjin Joshua Farrance, and pilot Mark Stoxreiter, were traveling in the helicopter to KwaZulu-Natal as a response team for another critically ill patient.

This was shortly after Dr. Mononyane had delayed the flight to assist colleagues who were trying to stabilise Minister Mthembu at Milpark Hospital.

Mthembu did not make it, he died on Thursday morning: 

“This is a tragic loss that has robbed the country of such highly skilled professionals who were prepared to put the lives of others before their own. I salute our departed colleagues and the pilot who fell in the line of duty. This country has weathered the COVID-19 storm because of the sheer dedication of professionals such as these,” says Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize in a statement.

He has called on the aviation industry to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash.

Mkhize has conveyed his condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased.

“May their souls rest in eternal peace and may we never forget that they remained dedicated and committed to delivering quality health care right to the end of their lives.”