Nelson Mandela is alive and well: foundation

JOHANNESBURG Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:37pm EDT

Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles after casting his vote for the upcoming May 18 elections, at home in Houghton May 16, 2011. REUTERS/Elmond Jiyane/GCIS - Government Communication and Information System/Handout

Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles after casting his vote for the upcoming May 18 elections, at home in Houghton May 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Elmond Jiyane/GCIS - Government Communication and Information System/Handout

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former South African President Nelson Mandela is alive and well despite rumors on social media sites on Tuesday that he has died, state-owned broadcaster SABC reported.

SABC cited the Nelson Mandela Foundation as denying the rumors on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Mandela, 93, South Africa's first black president who is revered at home and abroad as a symbol of reconciliation and hope, was hospitalized in January after suffering an acute respiratory infection.

Since then Mandela has recovered and he is currently in his home village of Qunu in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

Mandela was diagnosed with tuberculosis in the 1980s while he was jailed and later had an operation to repair damage to his eyes. In 2001 he had treatment for prostate cancer. He was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years imprisonment.

(Reporting by Marius Bosch)

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