A photograph that was falsely said to show the corpse of former South African President Nelson Mandela has been spreading over social media.
AFP’s photo department confirmed, however, that it is actually a photo of Mandela with his eyes closed from July 1991.
According to South Africa’s Independent newspaper group, Mandela’s family spokesperson said the renowned statesman’s relatives are “outraged.”
The picture was reportedly first tweeted by @nQOW_bee, an account that had been tweeting a running commentary about Mandela’s funeral. The image has now been removed from Twitter, and the @nQOW_bee account has been locked. It can, however, still be seen at phreshent.blogspot.com, where it is described as a “corpse photo”:
The original image is clearly visible on the AFP/Getty database, with the caption: “Portrait of anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela, 02 July 1991, in Durban, during the ANC’s first national congress to be held in the country in the last 30 years. Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail, was freed on 11 February 1990. (Photo credit should read TREVOR SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)”
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