South African News

Minister Dr Motsoaledi Helps Collapsed Plane Passanger

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, who is also a medical professional doctor by training, has been commended for saving a man who passed out on a flight from East London to Johannesburg due to a low blood sugar issue.

Motsoaledi sprung into action after he heard a commotion at the back of a FlySafair flight on Monday evening involving a man in his 30s.

“I was sleeping in front and heard a commotion at the back. When I woke up I found someone who had low blood sugar and they struggled to give him a sugar solution. The airline staff were looking for someone to attend to the emergency and I told them I’m a doctor,” Motsoaledi told TimesLIVE.

“They told me to produce papers but I’m no longer practising. Someone on the airline vouched for me and said I was a minister and doctor. The staff members were very doubtful.

“I rubbed the glucose powder on the tongue and it was immediately absorbed. That’s the training from back when there was no technical training, you relied on clinical argument and judgment. There’s no equipment on the plane. You rely on what you know.”

He said when the body experiences low blood sugar, it loses power like a car out of petrol.

“He was unconscious for most of the time. His wife told me she would take him to hospital. When I went to say goodbye he was still unconscious,” Motsoaledi said.

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Former member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Ndzipho Kalipa, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to praise Dr Aaron Motsoaledi for his “selflessness” after witnessing the incident on the Johannesburg-bound flight.

Former PRASA spokesperson and political analyst Makhosini Mgitywa also happened to be on the flight and recounted what happened on the platform as well.

“Last night I was in a domestic flight back to GP. Mid flight a passenger sitting a row behind me had a medical emergency. I heard the passenger near him shout, ‘he’s not breathing.’ The @FlySafair crew reacted swiftly to manage the crisis. Two doctors sprung to action,” he said on X.

Mgitywa continued: “The doctors stabilised the patient, assisted by the crew who were superb. When the patient came to, passengers who witnessed this started clapping.. it was something. I don’t know who the first doctor was, but on behalf of the other passengers, I thank him for his service. The second doctor to respond was sitting further in the front. He was [Home Affairs] minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. I also thank him for his service”


The Home Affairs minister is a qualified medical doctor who once served as a health minister.

He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

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