IFP’s combative MP fights new battle to beat terminal lung cancer

2013-05-23 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini has been a thorn in the ANC’s side for many years, notably when he was then Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s special adviser

When he later became an MP, the Italian-American constitutional lawyer — who became a naturalised South African citizen — continued in the same vein. He successfully challenged Parliament’s rules in court and breathed new life into the IFP’s opposition benches.

On April 25, he left his hospital bed to make an impassioned plea against the Protection of State Information Bill in the National Assembly, a speech that went viral.

Yesterday, Oriani-Ambrosini released a public statement that gave the first indication why the maverick MP had been hospitalised and why he might be silenced — and not by the ANC.

He announced that he had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer that had spread extensively.

“The condition is terminal and not operable, and if left untreated, will cause me to be removed from all lists for Christmas functions or gifts.”

Oriani-Ambrosini said he had rejected chemotherapy because it could only buy him a few more months of life with severe side-effects.

“This diagnosis has been confirmed by university medical centres in the United States and Italy, which re-ran the pathology tests.

“The medical-pharmaceutical establishment cannot identify the cause of my cancer nor propose an effective cure. None of this is acceptable to me.”

He had therefore chosen to pursue a course of treatment based on a “different, not alternative, science”.

“I have now been receiving this treatment for a while. At this point, I shall not speak or vouch for such a treatment, nor discredit it. My death or survival will do so.

“I count on achieving a cure in three months and will then return to my parliamentary work. If my gamble is successful, I plan to dedicate a great portion of my future political and professional life to the fight to eradicate cancer as a cause of death,” he said.

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