22 July 2017

South Africa: Mandla Mandela Speaks Out Against Book On His Grandfather

Chief Mandla Mandela and his family are aggrieved by a book that has shared intimate details of the former president Nelson Mandela's last moments before his death.

In a statement issued by the Royal House of Mandela on Saturday night, he said he was fully behind Graca Machel, Mandela's widow, in her quest to take legal action against Vejay Ramlakan.

The book, titled " Mandela's Last Years ", was written by Ramlakan, the country's former surgeon general and headed Mandela's medical team till his death in 2013.

Mandla agreed with Machel that the book contained statements that constituted an ethical breach.

"We are aggrieved as a family that the privilege of administering to President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela afforded to the doctor appears to have been vilely abused," he said.

"We want to caution that this is not the first apparent abuse of the Mandela name and legacy and call on all to respect the wishes and proprietary rights vested by none other than President Mandela himself."

In some extracts of the book released to News24 this week, Ramlakan writes about Mandela's admission to Mediclinic Heart Hospital on June 8, in a "serious condition".

He also releases some medical details about Madiba's ailments.

"On the previous night, we surmised, a sudden ulcer bleed and concomitant lung infection had probably caused an aspiration from blood that was being regurgitated," an extract of the book reads.

Protect good name

Machel slammed the book on Friday and said she was considering suing.

"I condemn the book in the strongest terms," Machel said in a statement released by her foundation on Friday.

She said she would take legal advice on whether to institute legal proceedings against the author and publisher.

The defence department also distanced itself from the newly-released book on Saturday.

Defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the views expressed in the book were those of the authors and did not in any way or manner represent the department and the SA Military Health Service.

He said the SA National Defence Force's (SANDF) policy on patient-doctor confidentiality was in force.

"As such, the views and patient doctor engagements expressed in the book have not been sanctioned by the senior cadre of the department and the SANDF respectively."

Machel would meet with the executors of Madiba's will - Justice Dikgang Moseneke, George Bizos SC and Judge Themba Sangoni on how to "best protect Madiba's good name and reputation".

Source: News24

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