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Prof Peter Friedland: The ENT Doctor and Madiba

Prof Peter Friedland: The ENT Doctor and Madiba

Medical Forum features Professor Peter Friedland’s career journey, and his time with Nelson Mandela. 

It was Professor Peter Friedland’s connection to Nelson Mandela that drew him further into his earn, nose and throat interests. 

When Mandela was at news conferences, Friedland noticed that it seemed Mandela could not understand what people were saying. He could listen to them, but he could not understand their speech.

“I realised he had been wearing analogue hearing aids, which were 30 or 40-year-old technology and made by a company which sent them to him when he was still in Robben Island in the 1960s,” Professor Friedland said. 

“He lost his hearing because he had performed forced labour daily in the limestone quarry. The noises from hitting the stone destroyed his hearing, just as the sunlight destroyed his eyes.”

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