Mandela's widow to sue doctor over book on his health

25 July, 2017, 12:06 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • FILE Nelson Mandela’s grandson chief Mandla Mandela

"The publisher has done so out of respect for the late Mr Mandela's family".

Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel said she had not given permission for the book to be written, and other members of the family, including grandson Mandla Mandela, said they felt the book violated doctor-patient confidentiality.

The publisher of the controversial book Mandela's Last Years has chose to "immediately withdraw" it from the trade.

In a televised interview on news channel eNCA on Sunday, Ramlakan said he had received permission to write the book from the Mandela family.

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"It documents the complex medical decisions; disputes between family members and staff; military, political, financial and security demands; constant scrutiny from the press; and the wishes of Mandela himself, all of which contributed to what he and those closest to him would experience in his final days", according to Penguin Random House, the publisher.

It also revealed that an ambulance transporting Mandela to hospital during his final months caught fire on the highway forcing him to wait for a backup. "When we are done we will publish a list of inaccuracies in the book", he said.

On whether his widow Graca Machel had given permission or ever been consulted when the book process was being done, Dr Ramlakan did not say.

One of the revelations that emerged from media reports include the claim that Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, held his hand as he took his last breaths.

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Mandla and Machel had at the weekend expressed outrage at the book and some of its contents, with Machel threatening to sue Ramlakan for statements in the manuscript that she said constituted an ethical breach.

In a statement, Penguin Random House South Africa says no further copies will be distributed out of respect for Madiba.

Mandela, often known by his clan name Madiba, died on December 5, 2013.

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