Nelson Mandela dies 'breaking news' on Twitter a hoax

Nelson Mandela dies ‘breaking news’ on Twitter was a hoax. The South African ex-president is alive, which means viral tweets that he died “in his sleep” were fake.

Reports said the 94-year-old political leader was rushed to a Pretoria hospital early Saturday in a serious but stable condition due to a recurring lung infection. He’s been admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU) for three days now.

Over the weekend, a parody account imitating CNN host Piers Morgan, which uses the handle @piersrnorgan, posted a status message about Mandela’s alleged passing.

“Nelson Mandela’s spokesman has confirmed the tragic news that the former leader died earlier this afternoon in his sleep,” read the tweet, which was reportedly quickly re-tweeted more than a thousand times. It turned out to be a deliberately fabricated false news.

Mandela, the latest victim of a celebrity death hoax on Twitter, is a former anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.