MANDLA WANTS ‘SNITCH’ NAMED

CityPress - - Front Page - ERIKA GIB­SON news@city­press.co.za

The fall­out over Ve­jay Ram­lakan’s book doc­u­ment­ing the fi­nal hours of for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela’s life is set to get worse.

For­mer deputy chief jus­tice Dik­gang Moseneke, one of the ex­ecu­tors of Man­dela’s estate, con­firmed that the ex­ecu­tors would lodge a com­plaint against Ram­lakan with the Health Pro­fes­sions Coun­cil of SA (HPCSA).

The HPCSA will have to in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­ble in­fringe­ment of the pro­fes­sion’s eth­i­cal codes by Ram­lakan, who is still regis­tered as a med­i­cal doc­tor.

The ex­ecu­tors of Man­dela’s estate are also con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against the pub­lish­ers, Pen­guin Ran­dom House, to en­sure that the book is per­ma­nently with­drawn from store shelves.

Pen­guin Ran­dom House with­drew the book just a week af­ter its launch, af­ter the estate’s ex­ecu­tors re­leased a statement say­ing they be­lieved many dis­clo­sures made by Ram­lakan in the book were un­law­ful.

The price of on­line of­fers for copies of the book that were sold has since soared into the thou­sands of rands.

Ram­lakan has so far not dis­closed the name of the Man­dela fam­ily mem­ber who gave him per­mis­sion to pub­lish the book.

Moseneke con­firmed an at­tor­ney was busy draft­ing a com­plaint to the HPCSA and that they would also lodge a com­plaint with the de­part­ment of de­fence, which this week dis­tanced it­self from the book.

“The de­part­ment will then have to de­cide what fur­ther ac­tion it will take.”

In the mean­time, Graça Machel, Man­dela’s wi­dow, is also ob­tain­ing a le­gal opinion about the book.

In the book, Ram­lakan writes how Machel was not with Man­dela dur­ing his fi­nal mo­ments, but that ex-wife Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela, her eyes “red and teary”, was.

Ram­lakan wrote that he was the one who told her: “Mama, he has de­parted.” Madiba’s hand was in hers as she nes­tled her head be­side his body.

“Wave af­ter wave of quiet sobs broke her bowed frame.”

At the heart of the com­plaint to the de­part­ment of de­fence is the fact that the sur­geon-gen­eral is the cu­ra­tor of all med­i­cal par­tic­u­lars and records of all pres­i­dents, for­mer pres­i­dents, deputy pres­i­dents, min­is­ters of de­fence and vis­it­ing heads of state or VIPs.

Or­di­nary doc­tors in the mil­i­tary do not have ac­cess to th­ese records, which are kept sep­a­rate from those of nor­mal pa­tients.

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