Penguin pulls doctor's Mandela book

Jerome Frank
July 25, 2017

The book reveals several undignified episodes at the end of Mandela's life as well as bitter family squabbles over his care and legacy.

Publisher Penguin has pulled a book about Nelson Mandela off the shelves after the widow and family of the former president complained that the doctor who wrote the book had not been given permission to do so.

"The publisher has done so out of respect for the late Mr Mandela's family", it says.

Following strong criticism from Mandela family members - including his widow, Graca Machel, and grandchildren Mandla and Ndileka - PRHSA has agreed to stop sales of the book entitled Mandela's Last Years.

In a televised interview on news channel eNCA on Sunday, Ramlakan said he had received permission to write the book from the Mandela family.

She said its publication was a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality.

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He also tells how an ambulance carrying Mr. Mandela to the hospital had caught fire in June 2013, or a camera spying had been discovered in the morgue where his body lay.

When asked whether Machel had been consulted in the writing of the book, Ramlakan refused to be drawn. While Ramlakan declined to say which family members had given permission for the book, his remarks could indicate continuing rifts in a family whose members have feuded over the years on issues such as inheritance.

Publisher Penguin Random House has released a statement, confirming their decision to shelve the book.

The book, "Mandela's Last Years", covers Mandela's health while he was imprisoned during white minority rule, during his tenure as South Africa's first black president and in retirement.

One of the revelations that emerged from media reports include the claim that Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, held his hand as he took his last breaths. It also focuses on the dramatic final months of Mandela's life, when he was suffering a lung infection and other ailments before dying at age 95.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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