Graça Machel threatens lawsuit against Mandela’s doctor over degrading book

Dr Vejay Ramlakan. Picture: Herman Verwey
Dr Vejay Ramlakan. Picture: Herman Verwey

Former president Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has threatened to sue Mandela’s doctor Vejay Ramlakan over his newly released book, Mandela’s Last Years.

Ramlakan reportedly details Mandela’s last years, including intimate moments prior to his death. Machel has slammed the book, saying it is degrading and tarnishes the image of the struggle icon.

“I condemn [the] book in the strongest terms. It is an affront to and an assault on the trust and dignity of my late husband ... It breaches the doctor–patient relationship of confidentiality and I am taking legal advice on whether to institute legal proceedings against the author and its publisher.

I will be consulting with executors Justice Dikgang Moseneke, George Bizos SC and Judge [Themba] Sangoni on how best to protect Madiba’s good name and reputation,” she said in a statement released by her foundation on Friday.

Ramlakan is South Africa’s former surgeon-general and headed Mandela’s medical team till his death in 2013. Some echoed Machel’s sentiments and took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction.

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