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Mandela's doctor awarded commemorative medal

Doctor Motshidisi Sehotsane spoke to EWN about her special moments with Tata.

Nelson Mandela's military assigned personal doctor Doctor Motshidisi Sehotsane with her children after being awarded with the Nelson Mandela Medal in Pretoria. Picture Govan Whittles/EWN.

WATERKLOOF - The military doctor who stayed by former president Nelson Mandela's side as he took his last breath has told Eyewitness News she dedicates her Mandela Medal to her children.

Doctor Motshidisi Sehotsane spent many nights without her children as she cared for the global icon.

Sehotsane travelled the world with Madiba as his army assigned personal doctor and said her memories of him are filled with laughter and appreciation for his struggle.

She was awarded with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Mandela Medal in gold by President Jacob Zuma at a special parade held at the Waterkloof Airforce base on Sunday.

Sehotsane says she has no regrets about the time spent away from home because Mandela had sacrificed so much more for the country.

"Somebody had to do the job and I guess I had to sacrifice because of how Tata sacrificed for the country. I have no regrets and I feel I was chosen for this job.

She says while Madiba was recovering in hospital, he would lift the doctors' moods by telling jokes and watching the least-expected television shows.

"I remember changing the channel to National Geographic which I enjoyed watching a lot."

Sehotsane says she feels honoured to have spent Madiba's last birthday, Christmas and finally his last moments at his bedside, and will treasure the memories forever.

COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL

The Mandela Medal, which comes in gold, silver and bronze categories, honours members of the military who sacrificed their time in taking care of Madiba during his last days.

The medal, which is the first of its kind, also honours military members who played a significant role in the planning and execution of Tata's funeral.