Vejaynand Ramlakan and South African Acting President, Kgalema Motlanthe, January 2011

Vejaynand Ramlakan and South African Acting President, Kgalema Motlanthe, January 2011

Not many doctors have lived lives quite as exciting (or impressive) as Lieutenant General Vejaynand Ramlakan. Popularly referred to as Vejay, the now retired medical doctor has been through military training, seen the inside of Robben Island as a political prisoner, and was the personal doctor to former South African president, Nelson Mandela. As a member of uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), Ramlakan transferred across to the South African National Defence Force when MK was incorporated into it in 1994. Having systematically worked his way up the ranks, Ramlakan was finally appointed to the top position of the South African Military Health Service in 2005, acting as the country’s Surgeon General until 2013, after which time he was employed as the Chief of Corporate Staff Services for the Department of Defence.

There are few people have given so much of their lives to public service. From representing the rights of students at the University of Natal, to undergoing underground military training in Swaziland, to ensuring the best medical care for one of the most significant leaders of the 20th century, Lieutenant General Vejaynand Ramlakan is a man who should have no regrets for a life lived fully.

We are proud to count him as one of our esteemed 2016 eThekwini Living Legends!

Image courtesy of www.thetimes.co.uk