Alias Zindzi: fake tweets

2013-07-20 00:00

AS the world’s attention focuses on Nelson Mandela and his family, someone has decided to take a share in the attention by impersonating the icon’s youngest daughter, Zindzi Mandela, on Twitter.

The person, who is unknown, has set up a Twitter profile in Zindzi’s name with a profile picture of her with Mandela. Using the Twitter handle @ZindziMandela, the perpetrator has been tweeting on Mandela’s condition; news links on Mandela and Zindzi; replying to tweets; and posting pictures of her.

To make the account seem authentic, the impersonator has used Zindzi’s Who’s Who of Southern Africa profile, which has her professional background on it.

The account has 396 followers and the impersonator has posted 199 tweets.

Tweets like: “He gave us a huge smile, and he responds very well … with his eyes, and he nods and sometimes he lifts his hand like to shake your hand,” are direct quotes from an interview Zindzi did with Sky News on Wednesday.

Zindzi is outraged at the fake profile and has stated as a matter of urgency that it is not her tweeting.

“I have no idea who is behind this Twitter handle, and am outraged at this person who wants to appear to be me. I thus totally distance myself from this case of identity theft,” she said.

The fake profile was discovered last week when Claude Colart, a close personal friend of the Mandela family, saw it on Twitter.

“I saw the Twitter handle and called Zindzi asking her when she went on Twitter. She said that she is not on Twitter, and asked me to tweet that it is not her. We are trying to alert Twitter to get the profile down,” said Colart.

Although the impersonator has not tweeted any false information regarding Mandela’s condition, many people have been deceived by the false account. They have been tweeting well wishes for who they think is the real Zindzi, and have been retweeting the posts.

The impersonator has even been offered to be on the cover of the online Tropics Magazine by its editor-in-chief, Venicia Guinot, via the fake account.

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