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Mandela’s widow furious over book on his last days

Former Minister of Education and Culture in Mozambique, International advocate for women’s and children’s rights, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela, and co-founder of The Elders group, Graca Machel waves as she delivers a speech during the Walk Together campaign on July 18, 2017, in Cape Town.<br />The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights, mark their 10th birthday by launching “Walk Together”, a global campaign to help bridge the global faultlines of division, hate and xenophobia. July 18 also marks Nelson Mandela’s birthday. / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

Nelson Mandela’s widow on Friday threatened legal action over a book by his personal doctor that laid bare intimate details of his final illness and death in 2013.

Mandela’s physician Vejay Ramlakan revealed several undignified episodes at the end of Mandela’s life as well as bitter family squabbles over his care and legacy.

“I condemn the book in the strongest terms,” Graca Machel said in a statement released by her charity foundation, local media reported.

“I am taking legal advice on whether to institute legal proceedings against the author and its publisher.”

Machel accused Ramlakan of breaching patient confidentiality with his candid book, which was released to coincide with Mandela Day on July 18, an annual day to honour his memory.

Machel said she planned to meet the executors of Mandela’s will to discuss how to “best protect Madiba’s good name and reputation”, using Mandela’s clan name.

In the book, titled “Mandela’s Last Years”, Ramlakan reveals that an ambulance transporting Mandela to hospital during his final months caught fire on the highway forcing him to wait 30 minutes to wait for a backup.

He also detailed how the liberation hero regurgitated blood due to a lung infection and disclosed that after Mandela’s death at the age of 95, a spy camera was found in the morgue where his body was held.

Mandela married Machel, his third wife and the widow of Mozambique president Samora Machel, in 1998.



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