Social network users pay tribute to Mandela

2013-06-25 13:12
Johannesburg - Treasured pictures taken with former president Nelson Mandela, inspirational quotes by the anti-apartheid icon, and messages of support to him and his family ticked over on social media on Tuesday following the weekend announcement that he was critically ill.

The @ProudlySA campaign posted a video clip of singer Johnny Clegg singing "Asimbonanga" (we haven't seen him) with Clegg explaining it was written as a tribute to Mandela in 1986 during the state-of-emergency.

On Sunday, the presidency announced that South Africa's first democratically-elected president was in a critical condition after being admitted to hospital in Pretoria on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

In the video, a beaming Mandela shuffle dances onto the stage and vocalist Mandisa Dlanga harmonised next to him, as he lifts his arms up and down in time to the music.

Urgent meeting

Mandela takes the microphone at Clegg's invitation and says: "It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world... and at peace with myself."

He asks for a refrain and Clegg and the band oblige.

In the absence of further official updates about Mandela's health on Tuesday, Twitter was abuzz with comments about a Sowetan headline that the Mandela family had called an urgent meeting, and what it could possibly mean.

Retweets and comments about previous reports that he was critically ill, punctuated observations on the comings and goings at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where people were delivering messages, balloons, and flowers in person.

Without further information, reporters tweeted pictures of the scene outside, and of the happenings in Qunu, Mandela's home in the Eastern Cape.

The UK Guardian also lifted tweets from Mandela's granddaughters, Swati Dlamini and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, who appear on the reality television show Being Mandela.

Family distressed by report

In their tweets they complained about a CBS News report at the weekend in which it was claimed Mandela's condition was worse than thought.

The Guardian found a tweet which read: "@CBSNews Your reporting is a disappointment and has absolutely no respect for the family and privacy of our grandfather."

CBS reported on 21 June that Mandela was unresponsive and that his ambulance had broken down on the way to hospital.

The Wall Street Journal asked why he had to be driven to Pretoria when there was a hospital closer to his home in Johannesburg, and where he had been treated before.

One Twitter user compiled a reggae and ska playlist featuring freedom songs in honour of Mandela.

Social network users also started changing their profile pictures to those of Mandela.
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