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Shocking truth about Chris Barnard

A hard-hitting biography of Chris Barnard, which goes on sale tomorrow, claims that "the surgeon who astounded the world" was an adulterer and liar long before he achieved fame and glory.
Celebrity Surgeon is billed by Jonathan Ball Publishers as the "first- ever full biography" of Barnard.
Written by British journalist Chris Logan, the book claims to expose much of Barnard's true nature for the first time.
But members of Barnard's family rallied in support of his memory this week, claiming that Logan's book was an attempt to harm the reputation of a man arguably second only to Nelson Mandela as South Africa's most famous citizen.
Among the many claims in Celebrity Surgeon are allegations that:

Barnard, in his haste to perform the world's first heart transplant, was still debating its legal and moral implications at Groote Schuur Hospital on December 3 1967, as the recipient lay anaesthetised on the operating table. Elsewhere in the world, particularly in the US, surgeons were also on the verge of performing heart transplants but delayed carrying out the procedure until these complex issues had been cleared up.
So many of Barnard's affairs are chronicled that it seems the self-styled Karoo innocent was never faithful to one woman for more than a few months.
As Barnard's friend and business partner Armin Mattli spent 75 days on life-support, after being beaten up in a robbery in Zurich in 1992, Barnard urged doctors to switch off the machine. At the same he tried to get an investor to join him in buying Mattli's business.

Mattli owned a research centre in Switzerland which made an anti-ageing cream called Glycel. Mattli paid Barnard more than R4-million to endorse Glycel, which sold well in the US and Britain until it was withdrawn from sale after an investigation by the US's Food and Drug Administration.
Logan writes: "At the end of his life Barnard would say his involvement with Glycel had been his biggest mistake. Nonetheless, it had helped him build up a small fortune."

Barnard divorced his second wife, Barbara, after a string of affairs, including one with a waitress at La Vita, his restaurant in Claremont, Cape Town, and another with "the daughter of a very prominent Cape Town personality", a friend of Barbara's.
His first wife, Louwtjie, was so distressed by her husband's infidelity that she had a face lift "in a bid to compete with the Hollywood stars and young girls chasing her husband". Deidre Visser, Barnard's eldest child and daughter from his marriage to Louwtjie, denies this as "absolute nonsense".
Barnard was far more deeply implicated in and benefited more from the Information Scandal than he admitted. The Info Scandal arose when it was exposed in 1979 that the National Party government had used taxpayers' money to secretly fund a propaganda war, which included financing The Citizen newspaper. The scandal led to the fall of State President John Vorster and Information Minister Connie Mulder.

Logan says Barnard received far more money than he admitted from the slush fund of Info mastermind Eschel Rhoodie, Secretary for the Department of Information.
Logan's book, published more than two years after Barnard died of an asthma attack in Cyprus at the age of 78, has come as a shock to his family. Many (with the exception of Karin Setzkorn, Barnard's third wife) refused to co-operate with Logan, including Barnard's only surviving brother, Marius, Visser and Louwtjie. Marius said he was working on his own book about his famous brother.
Visser has also written a book, Fat, Fame and Life with Father, to be published by Double Storey on Tuesday.
Logan will arrive in South Africa this week to promote his book.
Jonathan Ball Publishers has had to apologise for an error in the book. It claims Barbara Barnard had been adopted soon after her birth, in Bonn, in 1950. This weekend, a Jonathan Ball publicist said the book would be published with an erratum to rectify this "honest factual error".

Full credit for this news article goes to: Sunday Times

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