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Mandelas welcome Zelda La Grange's Madiba book

Sapa

Nelson Mandela's family has defended the controversial book, saying those who had close relations with him are entitled to share their perspectives.

​Former president Nelson Mandela kisses his long-time personal assistant Zelda La Grange. (Gallo)

Former president Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela and his grandson Mandla Mandela welcomed a book by the former statesman’s personal assistant, the Star reported on Friday.

At Zelda La Grange’s book launch, Zindzi Mandela said people who had a close relationship with the apartheid icon were entitled to share their experiences and perspectives of him. 

Mandla Mandela said the family expected that people would have experienced his grandfather in different ways and the family could not agree or disagree with the experience of others. 

“We have never sought to dictate how people who related closely with my grandfather thought of him,” he reportedly said. The book also reportedly tells stories of the family’s treatment of the icon’s wife, Graça Machel.

In the book, La Grange also speaks of the ill-health of Mandela at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011. She wrote that he was secretly admitted to 2 Military Hospital in Cape Town, before being moved to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. 

According to the book he was moved after the Cape medical team allegedly ill-treated him. He reportedly had bed sores and inflammation in one of his knees. – Sapa

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