SANDF distanced itself from “Mandela’s Last Years”

The Department of Defence has distanced itself from the controversial book “Mandela’s Last Years”‚ written by the former surgeon-general of the South African Defence Force, Dr Vejay Ramlakan, who headed Nelson Mandela’s military medical team for about seven years.

“The department wishes to explicitly state that all views expressed in the book are those of the author and do not in any way or manner represent the department and the South African Military Health Service,” Department of Defence spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini in a statement released on Saturday.

“The SANDF’s policy on patient-doctor confidentiality is in force‚ as such the views and patient doctor engagements expressed in the book have not been sanctioned by the senior cadre of the department and the SANDF respectively.

Meanwhile the publishers of the book, Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) has been quoted by TimesLIVE as saying, “Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) accepted Mandela’s Last Years for publication after the author Vejay Ramlakan advised PRHSA that he had received permission from Mr Mandela’s family to publish the book. Their representative was provided with a proof of the book‚” PRHSA spokesman Surita Joubert said.

“Mandela’s Last Years sets the record straight about the final years of his life. Written by the head of his medical team‚ the military doctor who witnessed first-hand what the former president was experiencing. It documents the complex medical challenges‚ the interactions between family members and staff‚ the constant scrutiny from the press‚ and the actions and responses of Mandela himself.

“Written with respect and with the support of family members‚ this book completes the story of Nelson Mandela. It reveals a man who showed immense courage‚ not only when he fought for the freedom of millions of people‚ but until the very end of his own life,” Surita Joubert said.

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