Mandela is ‘well and on holiday’

2011-01-15 21:04

Former president Nelson Mandela is “well and on holiday”.

This was the comment by Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang last night after a stream of messages appeared on Twitter and Facebook, claiming that the first head of state of a ­democratic South Africa had passed away.

It is not the first time hoax messages about the 92-year-old Mandela’s “death” have appeared on social media forums.

Thousands of messages reading “RIP Nelson Mandela” were being circulated over Twitter from across the world last night.

In his statement, Hatang asked the media to respect Mandela’s ­privacy.

“We have made a commitment in the past that should anything happen to Mr Mandela, we will inform people,” the statement read.

City Press was also reliably told messages of Mandela’s death were premature, but that his health had deteriorated in recent times.

According to a reliable source, rumours about Mandela’s ill health are not that far from the truth.

It was also claimed last night that Mandela attended the 50th birthday function of his daughter, Zindzi, but this turned out not to be true.

Social networks buzzed with messages about Mandela. ShouqM tweeted: “RIP Nelson Mandela we studied your stuff for years.”

Nelisabrown wrote on Twitter: “Just had a heart attack, when i saw the TT RIP NELSON MANDELA, just to find out it’s fake. Whoever started that TT is SICK.”

Kavaro tweeted: “Every time a rumour about his death services (sic), let’s pray that it adds another good year to his life... God willing.”

President Jacob Zuma’s former spokesperson, Ranjeni Munusamy, commented on Twitter: “Judging by all calls this evening, the cell networks benefit.”

By 9.30pm last night “RIP Nelson Mandela” was the third most tweeted phrase on the social ­network.

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