Penguin must come clean on who gave permission for book: Mandla Mandela

Mandla Mandela‚ grandson of former president Nelson Mandela‚ is insisting that publisher Penguin “come clean” and disclose which family member gave permission for the late struggle icon’s doctor to pen a book documenting his final days.

The book ‘Mandela’s Last Years’‚ written by former surgeon-general Vejay Ramlakan‚ was withdrawn from bookstore shelves after the Mandela family accused the author of breaching doctor-patient confidentiality and Mandela’s widow‚ Graca Machel‚ threatened to sue him.  

“To its credit Penguin has withdrawn the book from circulation but we believe that in the interest of transparency and restoring credibility the publishers must disclose who in the Mandela family authorised this vile violation of Madiba’s standing and stature‚” Mandla Mandela said in a statement on Wednesday.

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“Failure to disclose this information would unfortunately render the publisher complicit in the disrespect and disregard shown by the author for doctor-patient confidentiality‚ as well as the assault on Nkosi Dalibhunga’s right to dignity‚ especially in the final moments of his life when he was unable to defend himself nor protect his legacy against unscrupulous exploitation‚” he added.

He said the family would not rest until justice was seen to be served and until those implicated demonstrated remorse and publicly apologised “for their gross transgression and for being party to the defilement which our family takes great umbrage with”.

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“We will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this travesty‚ and until those who apparently gave permission for this publication come clean and apologise to the family‚ our nation and all who love‚ revere and hold uTatomkhulu in high regard. This matter cannot and will not be left unresolved under a cloud of secrecy until justice is seen to be served and President Mandela’s dignity restored.”


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