Ambrosini 'decided to end his suffering'

Cape Town - Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini "decided to end his long battle" with cancer at the weekend, his family said on Monday night.

"Mario was in the last stages of terminal lung cancer and decided to end his long battle of suffering," it said in a statement.

"This was a positive and very conscious decision on his part. He did not want to suffer anymore, nor did his family too."

Oriani-Ambrosini died at his home in Cape Town in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was aged 53.


When asked whether Oriani-Ambrosini took his own life, the family responded with "he decided to end his suffering". They could not provide further details.

His family said they respected his decision.

"This choice was made not out of weakness, fear or despair, but from his courage or determination to be the final decision maker concerning his own fate," it said.

"We only love and respect him... more for his bravery in the face of debilitating and ultimately fatal illness."

It said Oriani-Ambrosini said in his last message to the family that he felt he had completed his life cycle.

'Peace and serenity'

"He told us: 'I am dying in peace and serenity, surrounded by the love of my family and friends. I am dying at a time when I feel ready. Thank you for your friendship and love which I feel with me at this time'.".

The IFP said on Monday night it was not aware of Oriani-Ambrosini's decision.

"I am not aware of's the first time I hear about it," said IFP chairperson Blessed Gwala.

His illness was first made public in May last year, which he described as a stage four lung cancer which, left untreated, "will cause me to be removed from all lists for Christmas functions or gifts".

He survived the 2013 festive season and vowed to fight during the fifth Parliament for the use of alternative cancer therapies, including medical marijuana.

Medical innovation bill

Oriani-Ambrosini said he had rejected chemotherapy as a treatment option, as it would extend his life expectancy by only a few months and would cause severe side-effects. He had opted to pursue treatment based on "different science".

In February, he introduced the medical innovation bill to legalise the use of medical marijuana and pleaded to President Jacob Zuma to provide laws that gave doctors the power to prescribe alternative treatments.

Three months later, a very frail Ambrosini lifted himself out of his wheelchair with the help of an ornate walking stick a year after announcing his diagnosis and read the oath of Parliament in his thick Italian accent.

Read more on: ifp cape town politics health
Eben van den Heever 2014/08/19 07:33:50 AM
South Africa will miss him. RIP brother
Andrew M 2014/08/19 07:34:44 AM
A really brave decision on his part, most likely pain and suffering was too much to bear for him and his family. Gone but not forgotten. RIP.
Just Me 2014/08/19 07:40:30 AM
A very difficult decision on the part of the family to accept his suicide. I know the suffering from pain first hand as I wa diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 but, I have decided to fight it with all I've got. 4 Years on and many different treatment options, I am sort of healthy. I will never take the path that this man took. I have to much to live for but, I have a lot of respect for him for refusing chemo therapy.
Makola Jack Mokgokong 2014/08/19 07:51:47 AM
Nettie Potgieter 2014/08/19 07:52:53 AM
Slaap rustig dapper held!
Lekgotla Percival Mothupi 2014/08/19 07:54:18 AM
May your soul rest in peace - SA needs many of your caliber. U were who God made u to be...hope our country passes your plea for those living with the desease to benefit.
Al Paracyto 2014/08/19 07:55:53 AM
It is time South Africa grows up (Hell that is IMPOSSIBLE !!) and allows medical-assisted suicide in terminal patients, as well as legalize marijuana.
Johnny Wright197 2014/08/19 07:56:04 AM
Thanks, N24, for NOT using the "suicide" word. What Ambrosini did, sets an example for all those in more or less the same situation. It is not wrong to end your own life under these circumstances. The only "wrong" here is the inhuman refusal to allow doctors and medical science to assist people in euthanasia.
Sihle Nyamezela Wethu Motaung 2014/08/19 07:58:10 AM
Rest in peace my brother may you soul rest in peace amen
Sabelo Sabz Hlubelikhulu Mcondobi 2014/08/19 08:11:33 AM
The situation of the late honourable Ambrossini was a very touching and interesting one. We hope that his family will accept that he is now resting_no more pains and suffering. May his soul rest in peace