Mandela wishes from the web

2011-01-27 14:11

Former president Nelson Mandela need only check the internet to find out if the world still cares about him, with messages of goodwill ticking over on social network feeds today.

News websites filled the information vacuum on his health with invitations to post a message to the political icon.

Mandela was admitted to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital for “routine tests” yesterday.

After a recent report from his friend Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu that he was frail and a hoax over his death, media have converged on the facility, ready to send out any information on one of the world’s most-loved and admired people.

The 92-year-old Nobel peace prize joint winner and a leader in the struggle against apartheid, has been treated in the past for various ailments not unusual for a man his age, such as prostate cancer.

With police and hospital security trying to keep groups of journalists at bay for privacy as the hospital goes about its normal schedules, many were turning to the web to share their thoughts and stay updated.

“It breaks my heart to hear that you have been hospitalised, get well soon TaTa on behalf of Mzansi [South Africa] we are all thinking and praying for you. Amandla a wethu!” Letsie Setona wrote on www.iol.co.za.

“It reminds me of the day you walked free from the prison. I know Tata you will walk free from the hospital.Viva,” wrote Elliot on the same site.

Readers of www.news24.com were asked to send pictures of themselves holding get-well wishes, and kicked off with posts from staff while they waited for readers to respond.

One reader, Sandra Williams posed with a bowl of fruit and wrote: “For Madiba: You are papa to us all. Some fruit to cheer you up and a prayer that you feel better already!”

Ulpha Ecries-Abrahams posed with a card she had made showing flowers and a message. Terence, Siya and Anele held up a hand-written note: “Get well soon Madiba”.

Schoolchildren from McAuley House Primary School, neighbouring the hospital, created a collage of hand cutouts with messages for Mandela. Earlier they were heard shouting from classroom windows: “Get well Madiba, we love you Madiba”.

Their smiling faces looking over the giant “get well soon” message they had pasted to their classroom window made global news as the pictures were posted on the www.MSNBC.msn.com site.

Twitter messages kept ticking over with Phoshage sharing the dramatic: “the day Nelson Mandela dies the solar system will stop and the whole world will be at a stand still”.

>> Text your messages to Madiba to 42987. Use the keyword Madiba, followed by your message.

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