This afternoon we received reports from a well-placed source in Africa that 93-year-old South African leader Nelson Mandela has passed away. We’ve been unable to get absolute confirmation, however our source tells us Mandela was admitted to a private hospital in Pretoria where he passed away. He has faced growing health concerns this year. #Mandela is currently a trending topic on Twitter in South Africa, where rumors of his death were dismissed as a hoax by Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk and City Press assistant editor Adrian Basson who tweeted:
“Almost certain Mandela death is twitter hoax. Zelda [la Grange] says she’s heard nothing like that and [a] family member told @SaPolitics1 [political journalist Cedric Mboyisa] Tata is fine.”
Meanwhile Zelda LaGrange of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and presidency spokesperson Marc Maharaj also issued denials via Twitter.
Ironically, Mandela’s 76-year-old ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is currently hospitalized, and reportedly successfully underwent foot surgery today.
We’ll continue to update this story as we receive more information. In the meantime, we’re praying this information isn’t true.