Today, Monday, Dr Vejayand Indurjith “Vejay” Ramlakan is scheduled to appear in a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
This is as the result of a complaint made by Graça Machel that Ramlakan abused HPCSA ethical rules by breaching doctor-patient rules of confidentiality in his book, Mandela’s Last Years: the story of Nelson Mandela’s final journey, by the head of his medical team.
Judge Jeremiah Shongwe is set down as chairperson of the six-person tribunal. If the tribunal finds against Ramlakan, he could inter alia be struck off the medical register.
In July 2017, Ramlakan’s book was published by Penguin Random House South Africa but then “voluntarily” withdrawn from circulation by the publisher (there was no court order), ostensibly because the “Mandela family” had not given Ramlakan permission to publish the book and especially much of the material contained in it. See my story here; let me also note that I have submitted an affidavit, as part of Ramlakan’s legal papers, on “matters of public interest [that should be allowed to be] covered by reporters and commented upon by journalists and other opinion makers”.
Ramlakan, a medical doctor, was from 1977 a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, spent five years imprisoned on Robben Island and, having been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, served as the Surgeon General of the SANDF, in which position he was appointed overall head, after former President Nelson Mandela retired, of the “C” team, which was responsible for the late president’s health care.
Ramlakan is at pains to point out in his papers that the “C” did not mean the team was “third” in line in terms of expertise and/or status, but merely that it was designated, in military parlance, the “Charlie” team.