MANDLA WANTS ‘SNITCH’ NAMED
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are also considering legal action against the publishers, Penguin Random House, to ensure that the book is permanently withdrawn from store shelves.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.