London: Nelson Mandela at the ripe age of 93 has become the latest celebrity to join Twitter.

Mandela, the world's most revered statesman, who led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy, has joined the micro-blogging site after his foundation convinced a British man to hand over the @NelsonMandela account.

Online consultant Richard Millington had registered the account but agreed to give it to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, part of a foundation established by the former South African president.

"Our Twitter account is called @NelsonMandela thanks to Richard Millington in London, who had previously registered this page," the foundation has said in a statement.

Sello Hatang, spokesman for the Mandela Foundation, was quoted by the British media as saying, "Mr Millington did not hesitate when we contacted him last week requesting that we take over the page he had created."

He added, "We would like to encourage others who hold domains using Nelson Mandela's name to hand them over to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory."

The Twitter account bears Nelson Mandela Foundation logo and has won 727 followers who receive updates with key dates in the life of South Africa's first black President.

"18 April 1986 Nelson Mandela watches the film 'Missing' in Pollsmoor Prison," reads one tweet. "On the 17th of April 1962 Nelson Mandela attends the National Assembly of
Sierra Leone and meets various Members of Parliament," reads another tweet.

Agencies