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eNCA / Nelson Mandela's widow, Graca Machel has threatened legal action over the intimate details of Madiba's last days revealed in a book written by his physician. Photo: Picture: eNCA/Lenyaro Sello.
Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, threatened legal action on Friday over a book by his personal doctor that laid bare intimate details of his final days in 2013.
Mandela’s physician Vejay Ramlakan revealed several “undignified” episodes at the end of Mandela’s life, as well as bitter family squabbles over his care and legacy.
“I condemn the book in the strongest terms,” Machel said in a statement released by her charity foundation, local media reported.
“I am taking legal advice on whether to institute legal proceedings against the author and its publisher.”
Machel accused Ramlakan of breaching patient confidentiality with his candid book, which was released to coincide with Mandela Day on July 18, an annual day to honour his memory.
Machel said she planned to meet the executors of Mandela’s will to discuss how best to “protect Madiba’s good name and reputation”, using Mandela’s clan name.
In the book, titled Mandela’s Last Years, Ramlakan reveals that an ambulance transporting Mandela to hospital during his final months caught fire on the highway forcing him to wait 30 minutes for a back-up.
He also detailed how the liberation hero regurgitated blood due to a lung infection and disclosed that after Mandela’s death, at the age of 95, a spy camera was found in the morgue where his body was held.
Penguin Random House South Africa said that it accepted the book for publication after Ramlakan got permission from the family.
Penguin Random House South Africa said it had accepted Mandela’s Last Years for publication after the author said he had received permission from Mandela’s family to publish the book. A family representative had been provided with a proof of the book, the publishing house said in a statement.
Mandela married Machel, his third wife and the widow of the late Mozambique President Samora Machel, in 1998.Source: AFP