Mandela’s Last Years: Twitter reacts to controversial book

Mandela's Last Years

The controversial biography Mandela’s Last Years has been pulled by publishers, but not before Twitter got to have their say about it.

Written by Dr Vejay Ramlakan, who headed Madiba’s medical team, the book details “the true story of Nelson Mandela’s final journey”. It most notably tells of how Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held his hand during his final breath, rather than widow Graca Machel.

Machel was quick to “condemn the book in the strongest terms”. She made it clear that she was considering legal action for Ramlakan’s breach of doctor-patient confidentiality.

A few days later, Penguin Random House South Africa “decided to immediately withdraw the book Mandela’s Last Years from the trade”.

By making the book taboo, the publisher also made it one of the most sought after books in South Africa.

PRHSA also can’t promise that the book won’t be subject to a digital leak, since copies of it have already been sold.

Many others are pleased about the recall, citing privacy as a must for the late freedom fighter.

At the centre of the debacle was Ramlakan, who was met with condemnation and advice that came a little too late.

The book continues to draw criticism, and Machel has not indicated whether she will continue with any legal action.

Featured image: Olatz eta Leire via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)



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