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Sat Dec 20 03:32:52 SAST 2014

Congolese minister being treated in South Africa

Sapa-dpa | 14 February, 2012 12:06
Hospital ward. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The finance minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in South Africa for medical treatment after being injured in a plane crash this week, officials told dpa on Tuesday.

According to officials with the United Nations peacekeeping force in DR Congo (MONUSCO), Matata Ponyo Mapon, was flown abroad owing to the severity of the injuries sustained in the plane crash near Bukavu.

The Uruguayan Air Force, which has soldiers in the Congo as part of the peacekeeping mission, had this week said the minister was dead.

The plane crash on Sunday, however, did claim the life of presidential advisor Augustin Katumba Mwanke.

Mwanke was regarded as "the power behind the throne", according to reports citing a leaked 2009 US diplomatic cable.

He is believed to have been involved in many major mining deals in the DR Congo in recent years. In 2002, a UN report implied that Mwanke was involved in plundering the country's resources.

Though he was initially fired after the report was released, he made a comeback as a key aide to President Laurent Kabila.

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