The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) crisis committee open a case against one of its own, yesterday at the Brooklyn police station for allegedly peddling fake news about Covid-19.
Yesterday, four members of the committee – which included Ronald Maela, Vutomi Nkuna, Katlego Mamabolo, Koena Mpya and Silence Sibiya – opened a case against the ANCYL in Tshwane for spreading false information.
This follows a social media campaign by the region that had encouraged steaming as a preventative measure or cure for Covid-19.
“We call upon our people to embrace an old African remedy which comes at no cost,” reads the post. “Steaming two or three times a day, whether tested positive for Covid-19 or not. Steam using eucalyptus oil, Vicks, and hot stones. The virus becomes paralysed under extreme heat,” the Tshwane ANCYL claimed.
A poster used widely on social media also claims that there are “Covid-19-fighting pH foods”, including bananas, lemons, avocado, watercress, pineapple and garlic.
“All we have to do to eliminate the virus is to consume more alkaline foods above the acidity levels of the virus,” it claimed.
According to the crisis committee’s Musawenkosi Ngobese, the charges are against the whole regional executive committee.
“This is bogus and voodoo science which has not been researched and analysed. So we condemn this type of misleading information as it could be deadly to those who apply it. It portrays a lack of sensitivity regarding the dire situation,” he said.
Ngobese said that they could not merely resolve it, as an organisation, among themselves instead of involving the police.
“Absolutely no, this is not just an organisational problem, it affects the country. In fact, it affects the world. And if needs be that we expose one of our own for the greater good of the country, then so be it.”
He said under the Disaster Management Act, publishing fake news linked to the coronavirus was illegal.
“Anyone that creates or spreads fake news about the coronavirus (Covid-19) is liable for prosecution.”