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IFP MP Oriani-Ambrosini dies

Johannesburg - Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini died on Saturday after battling cancer, his family said.

“It is with deep sadness that we, the family of Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, advise of his passing in the early hours of this morning, after a long and courageous battle with terminal lung cancer,” they said in a statement.

File photo: Late IFP MP Oriani-Ambrosini. Picture COURTNEY AFRICA. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“We wish to thank everyone who offered such tremendous support over the past 19 months.”

The family said the love and warmth shown to Oriani-Ambrosini and to them from friends was appreciated.

Oriani-Ambrosini announced last year that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

At the time, he said his doctors did not expect him to see Christmas 2013.

Oriani-Ambrosini said he had rejected chemotherapy as a treatment option, as it would extend his life expectancy by only a few months and would cause severe side-effects. He had opted to pursue treatment based on “different science”.

In February this year, he tabled legislation to decriminalise the medical use of dagga.

Oriani-Ambrosini, who returned to the National Assembly earlier this year after months of absence, made an impassioned plea to President Jacob Zuma and his government to decriminalise “medical marijuana”. - Sapa

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