In Summary

  • Ramlakan was accompanying Mandela from his Johannesburg home to a specialist heart hospital in Pretoria.
  • In 2011, three spy cameras filming the Mandela household and family cemetery were also discovered near Qunu.

JOHANNESBURG

An ambulance carrying South Africa's first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela caught fire as it was rushing him to hospital, his doctor revealed in a book published on Monday.

The incident is one of several bizarre episodes contained in the book chronicling Mandela's final years by Vejay Ramlakan, who was South Africa's surgeon general and the former president's physician until his death in 2013.

HOSPITAL
Ramlakan was accompanying Mandela from his Johannesburg home to a specialist heart hospital in Pretoria on June 2013 when smoke began billowing from the ambulance carrying the former liberation leader.

"A pall of black smoke enveloped the ambulance as it slowed to a halt in the fast lane of the freeway," Ramlakan wrote.

FIRE

"I lifted my focus from the section of road in the headlights to glance ahead and saw what appeared to be a vehicle on fire.... This was awful.

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