Madiba smiles as he is surrounded by children at his home in Johannesburg. File picture: AP

Pretoria - The Department of Defence (DOD) on Saturday distanced itself from a book titled "Mandela's Last Years" penned by former South African National Defence Force (SANDF) surgeon general Lt-Gen Vejay Ramlakan.

The DOD said in a statement it had noted the book and and "completely distances itself from the media reports" about the book "detailing the late former president Nelson Mandela`s last days before his death in 2013". 
"The DOD wishes to explicitly state that all views expressed in the book are those of the author and do not in any way or manner represent the DOD and the South African Military Health service (SAMHS). The SANDF`s policy on 'patient doctor confidentiality' is in force and as such the views and patient doctor engagements expressed in the book have not been sanctioned by the senior cadre of the DOD and the SANDF respectively," the department said.

Ramlakan was Mandela's doctor for almost a decade and published his book on Monday. Mandela's widow Graca Machel reportedly wants to sue Ramlakan because of "explosive claims" in the book.
African News Agency