There is nothing more I can really say, nothing more I can really add that has not yet been said by the world. I can share two graphs though
Most Mentions just after (1 or 2 minutes) President Zuma announced Mandela's passing.
As can clearly be seen BBC was ahead in its announcement. Here is the historic tweet:
South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa's president says http://t.co/EAjsaT0sMV
— BBC Breaking News (@bbcnews_ticker) December 5, 2013
Screenshot, for archiving:
2nd graph is of the hashtags:
Well, that's about it. I collected ~10000 tweets using https://github.com/ckoepp/TwitterSearch
You can get the data I collected here: https://github.com/bionicv/mandela_tweets
Trivia: @SwizeDhlomo is the second most mentioned person in the 10000 tweets. The reason: He tweeted just before the official announcement, when rumours were flying, that Mandela was okay. Obviously he was wrong on that one, very wrong. This also spawned the hashtag #dlhoogle, which is hilarious.