Nelson Mandela death rumours on Twitter

By Haji Mohamed Dawjee

South Africa's former president and struggle hero became the latest victim of a celebrity death prank on Twitter after a fake Piers Morgan account tweeted that Mandela had died earlier this afternoon.

The fake account with just over 3 000 followers sent this tweet to the Twitterverse:

At the time of this article, the tweet was retweeted 1 400 times. Peculiarly, most of the posts following the fake "breaking news" announcement via Twitter came from Spain. It was not long before the social media network was awash with messages for Mandela.

Several Spanish Twitter users, including eight-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, flooded their streams with messages that the apartheid hero had passed on in his sleep and the world had lost a very important person.
Translation: Today we lost one of the most important and relevant to our world. Rest in peace #NelsonMandela

The rumour gained further traction after the tennis star tweeted this to over four million of his followers. But it wasn't long before the actual Piers Morgan acquired knowledge of the hoax and reported the fake account.

Nadal found out the death was not true, removed his initial tweet and replaced it with an apology instead.

Translation: I had wrong information. #NelsonMandela has not left us. I wish for him to be with us a long time, which may it always will be.

Mandela remains in a Pretoria hospital where he is stable. There have been no further updates from the presidency regarding his condition at this stage.

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