The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed they would be investigating a fake voice note which sent South Africans into a panic about the reinstatement of the alcohol ban.
The message claimed that bottle stores would be closed and that President Cyril Ramaphosa would address the nation about a renewed ban on alcohol sales.
The news sent hordes of South Africans to their local liquor stores to restock on Tuesday.
“We are trying to analyse that voice note and trying to establish its origin,” national police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo told News24 on Thursday.
Several people have been arrested and fined for spreading fake news.
Naidoo warned that spreading fake news remained an offence under the lockdown.
They state that any person publishing any statement through any medium, including social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about Covid-19, the Covid-19 infection status of any person or any measure taken by the government to address Covid-19, would be committing an offence.
A person found guilty of an offence is liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
“Spreading of fake news still remains a
contravention in terms of the DMA. We are appealing to anyone who knows who is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the message to call 086 00 10111 or via MySAPSApp.”
“All information will be treated with strictest confidence,” Naidoo said.
Sources: News24, TimesLive