Panafrican News Agency

Mandela's widow seeks to block 'sensitive information' on late president

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, is attempting to block his former physician from revealing sensitive information about his final years in his book Mandela’s Last Years

This includes the claim that he died in the arms of his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and that Machel was not present when he breathed his last at his Johannesburg home in 2013.

Mandela's fairy tale relationship with Winnie ended in an acrimonious divorce shortly after his release from prison in 1990.

The book revealed that an ambulance transporting an ailing Mandela to hospital in the middle of winter broke down, forcing him to wait for a backup vehicle. After the world statesman’s death, a spy camera was allegedly found in the morgue where his body was held.

Dr Vejay Ramlakan is appearing before the professional conduct committee of the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) following a complaint by Machel, who has applied for the hearing to be closed to prevent the media from reporting on sensitive information.

Machel who is the only person in history to have been married to two heads of state (she was previously married to Mozambican President Samora Machel) married Mandela on his 80th birthday.

Ramlakan, who serves in the South African National Defence Force, claims Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah, granted him permission to disclose the information because it was in the public interest.

However, the book was pulled off the shelves in 2017 following Machel’s intervention. 

The publishers, Penguin Random House said the book “was meant to portray Nelson Mandela’s courage and strength until the very end of his life and was in no way intended to be disrespectful”.

-0- PANA CU/MA 16Sept2019