JUST IN: Mandela's doctor says he had permission to write the book

Mandela's widow to sue doctor over book on his health

Mandela book violates sanctity of doctor/patient relationship

The executors of Nelson Mandela's estate and his grandson, Mandla, have distanced themselves from a tell-all book soon to be published by Mandela's doctor.

Publisher Penguin has pulled a book about Nelson Mandela off the shelves after the widow and family of the former president complained that the doctor who wrote the book had not been given permission to do so.

He released his book, "Mandela's Last Years" on Tuesday to coincide with Mandela Day on July 18, in honour of his memory.

"PRHSA accepted "Mandela's Last Years" for publication after the author advised the publisher that he had been requested by Mr Mandela's family to publish the book".

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Dr. Vijay Ramlakan, who headed Mandela's medical team until his death, wrote in the book that family disagreements had a negative effect on the former president's health in his final months.

The surgeon also reveals disagreements between Mandela's family members and his doctors, and that a spy camera was found in the morgue where his body was held.

Dr Ramlakan also alleges the ambulance carrying Mandela to hospital broke down, leaving him stranded for 30 minutes.

"I condemn the book in the strongest terms", Ms Machel said in a statement released by her foundation.

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Recent days have seen Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, threatening to sue Ramlakan over the disclosures in Mandela's Last Years.

He said: "Let me say all parties who needed to be consulted were consulted, all from a point of view of publishing, [we got] advice from publishers and lawyers as well".

The eldest of the grandchildren of Mandela, Mandla Mandela, has hailed Monday the decision to withdraw the controversial book, believing that it represented a "violation of the name and legacy of Mandela".

In a statement, Penguin Random House SA said the book was "meant to portray Nelson Mandela's courage and strength until the very end of his life and was in no way intended to be disrespectful".

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