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Mandela health stirs social networks

10 June 2013, 18:11 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - As Nelson Mandela entered his third day in hospital, South Africans took to social networks to express their feelings for the Nobel laureate.

The Nelson Mandela page on Facebook has over 1.3 million likes and users have demonstrated their hope that he survives this latest health issue.

"From the bottom of heart I wish good improvement! Please! the world needs it!!" wrote user Elfa Lasangre, typical of many of the sentiments expressed.

Twitter is also abuzz with tweets on the icon.

A search for "Mandela" on the social network showed that users were interested in tweeting their comments, resulting in around 100 new tweets every three minutes.

"World: Prayer as Mandela stays in hospital. Prayers have been said in churches across South Africa for former ..." tweeted Nairobi Live! (?@NairobiLIVE), demonstrating the reach of the statesman beyond South Africa's borders.

The perceived lack of government information on Mandela's status has had many speculating that his state of health may be far worse than is being publically acknowledged.

On Sunday long-time friend Andrew Mlangeni was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying that the time had come to let Mandela die in dignity.

"We wish Madiba a speedy recovery, but I think what is important is that his family must release him," said 87-year-old Mlangeni.

The last tweet on 8 June from the official account for the Presidency said that Mandela had been admitted to hospital.

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