Picture: Associated Press

Cape Town - The publishers of Mandela's Last Years, which documents the founding statesman's last years alive until his death on December 5, 2013, have decided to pull the book by author Dr Vejay Ramlakan.

At the weekend, Madiba's widow, Graça Machel was considering legal action against Ramlakan and the publisher, Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA), for publishing the book without her consent. 

Machel was supported by Madiba's grandchildren Mandla and Ndileka Mandela who were also in the dark about who in the family could've granted permission for the publicaiton of the book. 

On Monday afternoon, PRHSA withdrew the book. 

"Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) has decided to immediately withdraw the book Mandela’s Last Years from the trade, and no further copies will be issued," it said in a statement issued by Surita Joubert on behalf of PRHSA. "The publisher has done so out of respect for the late Mr Mandela's family.

"PRHSA accepted Mandela’s Last Years for publication after the author Vejay Ramlakan advised the publisher that he had been requested by Mr Mandela’s family to publish the book. 

"The book was meant to portray Nelson Mandela’s courage and strength until the very end of his life, and was in no way intended to be disrespectful. However, given the statements from family members, we have decided to withdraw the book."

Cape Argus