Mandela’s widow unhappy about book on husband’s last days

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

The widow of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel is considering legal action against her late husband’s doctor who published a book detailing the last days of the anti-apartheid icon, APA learnt here on Tuesday.

Vejay Ramlakan, who published the book entitled "The Last Years of Mandela," is a surgeon and directed the medical team that cared for Nelson Mandela until his death in December 2013.

State-controlled Radio Mozambique quoted a statement released by Graça Machel’s foundation, the Fund for Community Development, as condemning the book in the strongest terms.

Machel accused Ramlakan, a former military surgeon, of breaching doctor-patient confidentiality.

She said the book constituted an assault on the trust and dignity of Nelson Mandela.

The publication details the last years of Madiba's life, including intimate moments before death.

It details the condition, considered serious, in which former President Mandela was admitted to the Heart Hospital of Pretoria on 8 June 2013. It also details several other diseases, including stomach bleeding, in addition to lung infection.

The doctor also describes some misunderstandings between doctors and the Mandela family.

Graça Machel hopes to meet the lawyers of the former President shortly, with whom she intends to discuss how best to protect Nelson Mandela's good name and reputation.

Meanwhile, the publisher Penguin Random House has announced the withdrawal of the new book following the condemnation.

The book by Mandela’s physician, had been released to coincide with the late South African anti-apartheid leader’s birthday, 18 July, which is marked each year as Mandela Day.

Penguin Random House did not say how many copies of the book had already been sold.

Mandela married Machel, his third wife and the widow of Mozambique president Samora Machel, in 1998.


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