As the whole word waited to hear about Nelson Mandela’s health, Rafael Nadal went ahead with an aggressive putaway and tweeted to his 4.5 million followers: “Today we have lost one of the most important and relevant people in our world. Rest in peace #NelsonMandela.”
It looks like the Spanish tennis star dropped the ball when he went in for an early swing because Nelson Mandela was not dead. In fact the 94-year-old iconic human rights symbol remains in critical but stable condition in a South African hospital. The tweet was retweeted 2,380 times, sending a wave of untimely condolences.
Nadal — who won the French Open the previous day — corrected his statement half an hour later upon deleting his previous tweet: “I had incorrect information and for now #NelsonMandela has not left us. I hope he is with us much longer, what he did will be with us forever.”
Tenía información equivocada y por ahora #NelsonMandela no nos ha dejado. Ojalá este con nosotros mucho tiempo, lo que hizo estará siempre.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) June 10, 2013
Nadal wasn’t the only person guilty of tweeting Mandela’s fictitious death. In fact the former South African president has become the latest victim of a string of incorrect reports. On Monday, a Twitter account imitating that of CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted the incorrect “breaking news” that the anti-apartheid leader had died.
This is the fake account that falsely tweeted Nelson Mandela's death, please get this moron off Twitter: @piersrnorgan
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 10, 2013
Nelson Mandela’s unwavering dedication to the liberties of his people and his defeat of apartheid made him one of the most recognizable human rights symbols of the 20th century. He is suffering from another lung infection believed to be linked to his contracting tuberculosis during his 27 years of imprisonment.