Publisher withdraws book on Madiba after outcry

MANDLA MANDELA

MANDLA MANDELA

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has declined to comment on the matter - saying it's still going through the book.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mandela's ex-wife and a prominent figure in the anti-apartheid movement, was with her former husband when he died, according to Ramlakan, a former surgeon general of South Africa who headed Mandela's medical team.

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

"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, published by Penguin Random House, reads.

The book, penned by Durban-born Dr Vejay Ramlakan and detailing some of Mandela's final moments has sparked debate around doctor-patient confidentiality.

Publishers Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) announced in a statement on Monday that the book would be immediately withdrawn "from the trade".

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In the book, Ramlakan reveals intimate details of Mandela's health condition including those of his admission at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital on June 8, in a "serious condition".

In a press release, the executors of Nelson Mandela were of the view that the content of the book was "deeply regrettable and unfortunate and constitutes an unlawful disclosure".

Mandela's doctor of almost a decade, Dr Vejay Ramlakan, said he penned Mandela's Last Years with the family's permission.

"While the writer says he had permission from one family member, I don't think any single member has the authority to do that", said Bizos.

"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".

The SANDF has distanced itself from the book.

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