If you’ve read the various tweets that have appeared on Twitter, you’d assume that Nelson Mandela is about to kick the bucket if he has not already done so.
Yes, South Africa’s first democratically elected president and one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known has been admitted in hospital for alleged respiratory problems. And at the age of 92, this could be very very serious indeed.
But to make assumptions without being in possession of all the facts is wrong, and proclaiming him dead already is one bridge too far. All we know he is in hospital and that the situation is not life threatening (according to a colleague of mine who is on the scene). Elderly people end up in hospital, and get out of hospital again.
I am fed up of people, both members of the public and fellow journalists, who repeat what they hear, interpret non-facts as being facts, twist this information to either have something to talk a out or sell a newspaper and create a potential unnecessary panic. Call me naive, or an ostrich with her head firmly stuck in the sand, but I refuse to be part of this hype. I will not write that Mandela’s end is near simply because I do not have proof.
Yes, Winnie left in tears. But what would you do if you were her? A cough, or what ever it is, can lead to serious complications in elderly people so there are definitely reasons to be worried. And honestly, when I am worried to death I ball my eyes out.
Look people, we cannot give up on Madiba just yet. Instead of spreading rumours of him dying and creating a global panic, let’s be hopeful. Let’s wish him well and lots of strength. Those who believe in what ever God: Pray for him and ask your God to see him through. I do not believe in a God myself, but you do and so maybe your prayers will help. But let’s not, I repeat LET’s NOT, talk the man into his grave, shall we?