By Abu-Jahlil Astrid Chacha for Milwaukee Community Journal
On July 18th 2017, the anti-apartheid south african historical leade
As it can clearly be read, the poster for the book marketing campaign printed, “This book’s documents the complex medical decisions; disputes between family members and staff; military, political, financial and security demands; constant scrutiny from the press; and above all the wishes of Mandela himself “.
Dr. Ramlakan, a retired surgeon-general was directing Mandela’s personal medical team since 2003. Full of details about the private final moments of the leader’s life, the content of this book truly horrified Mandela’s family.
Immediately, Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel publicly threatened that she would file a lawsuit against Dr Ramlakanwith some Mandela family members support. Graça Machel said that Dr Ramlakan legally has no right to reveal Mandela’s medical secrets, regarding the private policy and the obligation of medical confidentiality.
“I strongly condemn this book publication. I am taking legal advice on whether to institute legal proceedings against the author and its publisher.“ She declared in a statement through her foundation services.Machel said to News24 she would meet with the executors of Mandela’s will – Justice Dikgang Moseneke, George Bizos SC and Judge Themba Sangoni on how to “best protect Mandela’s good name and reputation”.
In the book, Dr. Ramlakan relates some facts. For example, as he wrote, in June 2013, the ambulance carrying Mandela to a Pretoria hospital caught fire. In December 2013, aspy camera was found in the morgue where Mandela’s body was resting. He let it be known that Mandela spit blood a few weeks before his death because of a persistent lung infection. He named Mandela’s diseases as hemorrhagic ulcer, lung infection, stomach problems. “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 reads.
Ramlakan that it was Winnie Madikizela, Mandela’s second wife, who was at Mandela’s bedside when he died, not Graça Machel, his third and final wife. He mentioned too that the conflicts in the leader’s family negatively affected the
The people and the media worldwide disagree Dr. Ramlakan’s book as a violation of medial secret, as a disrespect to the honor and the memory of Mandela.
Dr. Ramlankan responded that Mandela’s family members were informed that the book would be published. He told to Enca, a Tv channel, “All the persons who should be solicited were solicited” before the book publication.
Mandela’s heirs insisted that Penguim Random House and Dr. Ramlakan did not solicit them at all, nor Graça Machel. Mandela family appears divided by these public polemics. Ndileka Mandela, the leader’s grand-daughter made commentaries in the media. “Our family is great, as any family, we have dissensions.”
“The family still doesn’t know who gives agreement for the publication of a book about the last years of Mandela.”
Radio France International covered the affair. Seen as a trouble maker in the family, Winnie is suspected by the family to be the instigator of these news leaks, but she denied “I have nothing to see with this book. Only the author can tell us who gave him agreement to publish the book.”
She recognized that she signed a copy of the book for the author “By pure courtesy for the man who took care of Mandela.” Her words have been commented by the citizens on the social networks as a funny excuse.
The editor by his side argued that “The book was about to explain Mandela’s courage and strength even in the last time of his life, not in a way to be disrecpecful to him.”
It was also added, “Considering
July 24th 2017, the Penguim Random House finally removed the book from the shelves in South Africa. The elder of Nelson Mandela grand-son Mandla
The daily newspaper of South Africa The Citizen has raised many questions. They question if Dr. Ramlankan transgressed the medical secret by giving all of this information away?
Does confidentiality extend after the patient death?
“We think that if it is not an obligation, it can be a moral and ethic debate. We believe that any attempt to take advantage of the death of the greatest South African hero leaves a bitter taste in the mouth“.
The Citizen, according to the south african legislation, thinks that Dr Ramlankan is risking “ten years imprisonment“ if he is prosecuted because he has to obey a strict duty of reserve within the army. He is bound by the oath of hippocratic doctors. The surgeon could be arrested and may be prohibited to exercise his job.
The most remarkable daily newspaper, The Times, interviewed a man who could buy the book. Dalena Kalambo answered to The Times, “I intended on getting it on the day of launch but had other plans, so I bought it on Saturday morning at Exclusive Books. There was no mad rush to get the book. I was even contemplating if it was worth the hype. I was curious to read the untold truth about Mandela’s last years, not so much his medical conditions, but more how everyone was exploiting his frail status and how his medical team was coping with keeping him in a healthy state for some of these public displays.”
He also added, “I bought it for 300 rands and I was already offered 9,000 rands to buy it back but the interest comes mainly from international buyers who have heard of this story. I have already read a few pages, and I do not see anything new. Simply put, it gives context to certain events. By the way, the whole drama of Winnie, his former wife, being the one at Mandela’s side during his final breath is nothing new (sic). She did an exclusive interview with the ITV news, giving account of what happened. “Many specimens of the book have already been bought and are subjects to expensive traffic. Sello Hatang, member of the Nelson Mandela Foundation staff, said, in a conversation with South Africa Broadcasting Corporation TV, that he disagrees with the book and is working on a list of all the inaccuracies contained in the book.“
The political situation in South Africa is still influenced by the apartheid mentality.
A study realized by Fondation Helen Suzman show