Public Protector must investigate MEC’s ethics violations

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP

Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature

A dossier of ethics violations by KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has been submitted to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by the Democratic Alliance this morning.

MEC Dhlomo clearly violated the Executive Ethics Code in his use of Durban’s only medical helicopter to make a 750km round-trip to a funeral in Hlabisa in 3 November.

Any number of medical emergencies could have occurred in Ethekwini metro and surrounds on that day that required the use of the medical helicopter.

The Health MEC knowingly shrugged off all the deaths and lifetime’s worth of damage to Durban families he could potentially have caused by taking that medical helicopter. He has failed to provide an acceptable explanation for this abuse of office.

In a letter to the Public Protector, the DA argues that MEC Dhlomo –

· Undermined good governance by unjustifiably leaving one of South Africa’s largest metros without air emergency services

· Wilfully misled the KZN legislature with apparent factually incorrect information on the use of the helicopter

· Acted without integrity by not releasing the full information on the flight and apparently violating several aspects of civil aviation law

· Incurred potential conflicts of interests by visiting Hlabisa for political and not official reasons.

The Protector’s Ethics investigations normally take 30 days to complete according to the Executive Ethics Act.

The DA trusts that Ms Madonsela will come to a conclusive finding on whether MEC Dhlomo wilfully endangered the lives of the people of KwaZulu-Natal for selfish reasons.

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