Update: Moments ago South African president Jacob Zuma announced that Nelson Mandela has passed away. Details here:
Original Story Below:
Twitter erupted with rumors that 95-year-old Nelson Mandela had died and a media frenzy began near the former president’s house outside Johannesburg, South Africa today. At around 4:50 p.m. President Zuma of South Africa had confirmed that the former President had died.
The rumors of his death began when news outlets, like Britain’s Telegraph, reported that friends and family began gathering at his house last night to be by his “deathbed.” News 24 in South Africa claimed that members of the Mandela family have denied the urgent gathering.
One tweet from outside Mandela’s house even claimed that a priest was seen leaving the house:
#Mandela Frantic activity at Madiba's Houghton home – a priest seen leaving a short while ago.
— Debora Patta (@Debora_Patta) December 5, 2013
The death has been confirmed. Mandela was hospitalized and was rumored to be close to death after a chronic lung infection worsened in July, but made a miraculous recovery later in the summer. Nelson Mandela has also been the victim of internet death hoaxes and rumors before.
— Marco Ferreira (@PORALUV) December 5, 2013