'Fake' Madiba photo causes stir on Twitter

Claims have emerged that a photo of Nelson Mandela's body has been leaked.

Thousands of people were given a rare opportunity to go view Nelson Mandela's body at the Union Buildings on 11 December 2013. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - A picture - purportedly of Nelson Mandela lying in state - has caused a stir after it emerged on social media.

But, the authenticity of the picture has not yet been established.

This has sparked controversy on Twitter with a number of people expressing their outrage that a picture purportedly showing Madiba's body is being distributed on the social network.

The authenticity of the image is being questioned and it appears to be a fake.

Several Eyewitness News journalists who viewed the body in their personal capacities on Wednesday say the picture being retweeted on Twitter doesn't resemble Madiba in his current state.

It appears Twitter user @nQOW_bee was the first person to tweet the image, but she denies she took the picture.

Her tweet soon spread and she was trending in Johannesburg.

Earlier this morning, a woman identifying herself as Busi told Talk Radio 702's John Robbie she had received a picture purportedly showing Madiba lying in state.

She told him: "I'm really, really disappointed with South Africans. I have just received a photo of Madiba. Where are the security measures?"

Mandela died last Thursday at his Houghton home.