Widow to sue doctor over Mandela last days book

Graca Machel mulls whether to sue Nelson Mandela's doctor over details revealed in a new book

The widow of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, is considering legal action against his doctor for details he published in a recent book about Mr Mandela’s last days.

The doctor, Vejay Ramlakan, is South Africa’s former surgeon general and headed the medical team that looked after the anti-apartheid leader until his death in December 2013.

Mozambique’s state radio cites a statement released by Ms Machel’s foundation as condemning the book in the strongest terms.

Ms Machel said the book constituted an assault on the trust and dignity of Mr Mandela.

The book includes intimate moments immediately before the former president’s death.


It describes his medical condition and talks about some misunderstandings between the doctors and the Mandela family.

Mr Mandela’s widow said the book breached of the doctor-patient confidentiality.

The controversial new book about the last days of the life of South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela has been withdrawn by the publisher.

Mr Mandela’s family had complained that the book, written by his doctor, Vijay Ramlakan, contained personal details about the last days of the former president.

In a statement Penguin Random House said it had pulled the book “out of respect” for the family.

It added that the author had told the publishers that Mr Mandela’s family had asked for the book to be published.

It was supposed to show Mr Mandela’s “strength until the very end of his life”.

The withdrawal of the controversial book Mandela’s Last Years by publishers Penguin Random House South Africa shows just how much weight the Mandela name still carries years after his demise.

Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel complained bitterly about aspects in the book.

The outcry was supported by other Mandela family members.

This simply means that Mr Mandela’s physician and author of the book Dr Vejay Ramlakan has been isolated.

He was adamant that he consulted everyone who needed to be consulted from the family prior to writing the book. Clearly this has backfired now.

One of the details of the book which did not sit well with Mrs Machel was the assertion that when Mr Mandela took his last breath it was in fact the hand of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (his second wife) he was holding and not hers.

It is now left to Ms Madikizela-Mandela to come out to set the record straight about these intimate details.

Source: BBC



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