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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.
Withdraw “Mandela’s Last Years”, great strategy to boost sales pic.twitter.com/9m21lkIdh4
— Luyanda Ntwalana (@Ntwalanalu) July 24, 2017
Now i really want to read this “Mandela’s Last Years” book. Eh!
— linda zwane (@sherbet_sj) July 25, 2017
I know I said Graca Machel must sue but i can’t help it yazi i want to know what’s inside that book Mandela’s last years pic.twitter.com/TwVn6VuHaM
— RSA President® (@nesbert_kamo) July 24, 2017
PRHSA also can’t promise that the book won’t be subject to a digital leak, since copies of it have already been sold.
I expect steep resales of ”
Mandela ‘s Last Years” & worse bootlegs, this day&age you don’t ban books. In the long run it’ll prove futile
— Nkumbulo JamesSodabi (@jamessodabi) July 25, 2017
So we don’t deserve to know about “Mandela’s Last Years”, not that I’m gonna read the book coz I know I’ll black Twitter will read it for me
— Bibi The Realest (@benedictamaps) July 24, 2017
Now that Mandela’s Last Years has been pulled, we will want to to read it more than before.I believe in a digital leak from my Satafrikans💪😉
— 3rd Eye (@TheSpektatah) July 24, 2017
Many others are pleased about the recall, citing privacy as a must for the late freedom fighter.
Mandela’s Last Years is in bad taste breaks doctor/patient confidentiality even in death when there are many”cause unknowns” for that reason
— SocialMediaBlackOut (@NosiphoKhulu) July 25, 2017
As much as I think it is a great story, but I think some things are meant to be private.
Mandela’s last years is out of order.
— #belief!✊ (@A_OscarN) July 25, 2017
Mandela was also human nd had a family. Some things u just have to keep w/in the family! Mandela’s last years is there to make money!
— Oreratile Molapo (@Thee_K_R) July 24, 2017
Thank God ‘Mandela’s Last Years’ has been withdrawn. People will make money out of you even when you’re in your grave! Respect
— She Speaks (@MbalzdotCom) July 24, 2017
At the centre of the debacle was Ramlakan, who was met with condemnation and advice that came a little too late.
Dr Vejay Ramlakan who wrote Mandela’s Last Years is a bloody leech. It’s not his bloody story to narrate! Anything to get himself 💰💴💵 v’tsek
— Gaopalelwe Ditinti (@DitintiG) July 24, 2017
That doctor whose the author ya Mandela’s Last Years should have made the book fiction or something 😂😂😂 and titled it Manelo’s Last Years
— MORATWE (@Moratwe_) July 24, 2017
Dr Ramlakan could have written about His life experience as a military doctor 👨⚕️ instead of Mandela’s last years
— NomaZengele (@noziphondabz) July 24, 2017
The book continues to draw criticism, and Machel has not indicated whether she will continue with any legal action.