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Military doctors treated Mandela badly - Zelda

19 June 2014, 12:40

Johannesburg - Former South Africa president Nelson Mandela experienced shockingly poor treatment at the hands of state doctors and had to be booked into a private hospital with bedsores in 2011, according to his former personal assistant, Zelda la Grange.

Beeld on Thursday revealed details of Mandela's treatment contained in La Grange's book Good Morning Mr Mandela.

According to La Grange, Mandela had fallen ill in Cape Town in early 2011 and was secretly admitted to 2 Military Hospital as he was too weak to fly to Johannesburg.

His wife, Graça Machel, was worried about the treatment he was receiving but it became apparent that the medical team was under instruction from the Mandela family and their priorities differed from Machel's, La Grange wrote.

One of the specialists treating Mandela was dismissed, as concerns mounted about the treatment he was receiving.

Mandela did not stop coughing and she thought it would be the last time she saw him, La Grange added.

When Mandela's condition deteriorated, he was flown to Johannesburg and admitted to Milpark hospital, with pneumonia, bedsores and a sore knee. The world media started camping outside the hospital.


La Grange's book also contains revelations about how Machel was sidelined by the Mandela family, being forced to get accreditation for Mandela's funeral in December 2013. According to the Sunday Times, La Grange wrote that the family drama took a heavy toll on Machel.

In response, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela has reportedly warned La Grange that she would have to substantiate her claims or face possible legal action from the family.

However, Zindzi Mandela has said that she believes her father would have given La Grange's book his blessing, pointing out that two other former employees had written books about their relationship with the late statesman, and both had received his blessings.

Zindzi Mandela said on Twitter it was too early to comment on La Grange's book as she had not seen it.

- Good Morning Mr Mandela.


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